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Luluvise launches ladies-only networking

Friday, December 16, 2011 - 02:36

Dec. 16 - The new London-based social network Luluvise bills itself as Sex and the City meets Facebook, allowing women to message each other, share photos and, controversially, rate their dates. Joanna Partridge reports

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There's a certain irony that some of the team working on the latest social network won't be able to join it. That's because they're men - and Luluvise is strictly for women. Half-Jamaican, half-Canadian entrepreneur Alexandra Chong came up with the idea for Luluvise after she'd been on a date in 2009. SOUNDBITE: Alexandra Chong, Founder of Luluvise, saying (English): "I needed to tell the story to my girlfriends about what happened, they all wanted to know and they were all scattered around the world. You know, Facebook is a phenomenal tool, we at Luluvise use Facebook tremendously, but it just wasn't private enough." Nearly three years later, and after securing $1 million in investor funding, Alexandra and her team of 6 men and 5 women have just launched the site. Luluvise is aimed at urban women aged 18-35. Once they sign up, they can invite their closest friends to join their inner circle, who will automatically receive all the messages they send, says Ole Mahrt. SOUNDBITE: Ole Mahrt, Senior Product Lead at Luluvise, saying (English): "So here we come into the main screen where we have a feed list of your scoops, so scoops is the messages you receive on Luluvise. And there are four different types of scoops, so there are photo scoops, text scoops, polls and wikidates." This last type of scoop has already created some controversy. In the "Wikidate" section, Luluvise users can rate men they've dated according to various factors including looks, manners and performance in bed. And while his score won't be visible outside the site - commentators have speculated this could ending up causing Luluvise legal problems. SOUNDBITE: Alexandra Chong, Founder of Luluvise, saying (English): "Of course if a gentleman, you know, finds out about his review and isn't happy, we have procedures to take that review down." Eileen Burbridge is a partner at Passion Capital, one of the investors in Luluvise, and based in the same office space in east London. She says users are still looking to join niche social networks. SOUNDBITE: Eileen Burbridge, Partner at Passion Capital, saying (English): "It does have to be an easy enough to use proposition for them to use it and to invest the time, it does have to be valuable enough, safe enough and offer all the things that we promise. So actually we do spend more of the time trying to support Alexandra and the team on making sure that the product does what we hope it does and then from there I have no doubt that revenue will follow." Luluvise say for the time being, they're concentrating on growing the number of users before monetising the service. The next step is to help ladies gossip on the go through its soon to be launched mobile app. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

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Luluvise launches ladies-only networking

Friday, December 16, 2011 - 02:36