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Startup: Hello, New York? San Francisco wants your women

March 6, 2014
Personal Finance
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A dating startup is crowdsourcing a $50,000 campaign to bring New York single women to meet San Francisco bachelors.

“There are around 150,000 more single women than men in New York. Meanwhile, in the Bay Area, there are around 50,000 more single men than women,” Lauren Kay, CEO of The Dating Ring, explained in the Huffington Post.

Kay said when the company launched in New York “we got almost twice as many signups from women as from men. We kept asking ourselves what we were doing wrong — why couldn’t we find more single men to sign up?” After the company launched in San Francisco in February, they saw the problem in reverse: Twice as many men were signing up.

Tech towns appear to be dominated by men, like the industry. San Francisco and San Jose have 7 and 15 extra bachelors, respectively, for every 1,000 single people (Seattle has 10 extra bachelors per 1,000). In New York, there are five more women per 1,000 singles.  In New York, one out of every five startups is founded by women; but 90% of Silicon Valley startups are led by men.

Reactions to this cross-country dating game fund drive have been mixed. A Gawker post likened the endeavor of sending “dateable women” to San Francisco to Imperial Japan’s use of enslaved Korean “comfort women” as prostitutes during World War II.  (On Tuesday, the Dating Ring launched a second campaign to do the deal in reverse – send San Francisco men to New York).

But one Gawker commenter thought the bicoastal dating imbalance wasn’t just about demographics.

“Having lived in both cities as a single woman, I actually found SF (San Francisco) a much, much worse place to date even though it’s crawling with heterosexual single men. There’s far less of a dating culture,” she wrote. “You can also put it the way one of my SF female friends used to: ‘The odds are good, but the goods are odd’.”