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In the Matchmaking Business, You Need to Go the Extra 3,000 Miles

The Dating Ring, a Y Combinator startup, plans to fly single women from New York to San Francisco to meet eligible men.

Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair, ladies.

In the latest innovation in the booming matchmaking industry, The Dating Ring, a group-dating startup based in Brooklyn, New York, is setting up a Memorial Day weekend trip for New York City-based women to meet men in San Francisco. The project is aimed to solve the "numbers problem" in the dating world: New York City has 100,000 more single women between the ages of 21 and 40 than men in that demographic, while San Francisco has 40,000 more datable men than women, according to the company's website.

The startup, part of Y Combinator's winter 2014 class, is trying to raise $10,000 on Crowdtilt to fly ladies from the Big Apple to meet tech-loving gentlemen by the bay. Funding a dater to come from New York costs between $500 and $1,250 for transportation, housing, date-coaching sessions, as well as group dates and cocktail parties. Locals pay up to $350, depending on the events they attend.  

Lauren Kay, The Dating Ring's founder, launched the service last spring in New York; it has since expanded to San Francisco and expects to move into Los Angeles and Boston soon. The company typically charges $25 per person to meet with a matchmaker, and then an additional fee to connect the dater with other single men and women for a group meetup at a bar.

The company does "away with online profiles and messages and wasting time online," Kay writes on her site. The group date is a move to replicate what happens in the real world--friends meet at a bar--instead of scouring the Internet. The cross-country jet-setting dating project is set to make "dating fun again," Kay writes. 

The company also has kicked off a second campaign, to bring men from San Francisco to meet women in New York in June.

Last updated: Mar 5, 2014

WILL YAKOWICZ | Staff Writer | Reporter,

Will Yakowicz is a staff writer for Inc. magazine. He has covered business, crime, and local politics for The Brooklyn Paper and was the editor of Park Slope Patch. He has also reported on the West Bank and Moscow for Tablet Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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