Social Matchmaking Startup Let’s Date Names New CEO
Huie is a particularly interesting choice because he comes most recently from his stint as co-founder and director of strategy and operations at Hatch Labs, the development shop responsible for creating Tinder.
Tinder, if you aren’t familiar, is Let’s Date’s largest competitor, and one of the most popular new mobile matchmaking apps in the space at the moment.
But after Tinder was built, parent company IAC shut down Hatch Labs and shuttered many of the projects within. Tinder, the most successful app to come out of Hatch Labs by far, is still up and running under IAC’s ownership.
Needless to say, Huie is likely quite familiar with what users respond to in the social mobile dating space, and can bring that to the table at Let’s Date, a startup incubated out of the Los Angeles-based Science technology studio.
Let’s Date differs from apps like Tinder and Swoon, another competitor, in that it pulls in some data from your Facebook account to fill out your Let’s Date profile, giving you more of a background and showcasing more of your personality characteristics. That’s different from Tinder and Swoon, which are primarily focused on the user photo, and prompt you to quickly swipe left or right to accept or reject the person you’re viewing (think Hot or Not on mobile).
While Tinder has achieved massive growth through this design strategy, Huie and Let’s Date prefer the more detailed, full-profile approach (even if it doesn’t lead to as steep a growth curve). “We actually want to match folks together to go on a date, so we provide extra features after the match,” Huie told AllThingsD.
Huie’s biggest priority over the next six months is continually adding new features to the app — he’s shipping new builds every two weeks. Huie is also looking toward international expansion in the near term. “While the majority of our users are in the U.S., we’re looking at expansion in South America and the U.K.,” he said.
Prior to his time at Hatch Labs, Huie was a strategic manager on IAC’s mobile team, and did time at both Ask.com and Zalicus Incorporated as a financial analyst.