Claire Arthurs, director of community and member success at online lender SoFi, noticed something funny a while back at events she was organizing to help clients meet career and financial goals. Clients weren't interested just in the advice -- they were interested in each other.
"There'd always be people who would pull me aside and ask, 'Is this person single? Is that person single?" she tells Inc.
Earlier this month, the startup held its first event to help clients answer that question: An invite-only singles night at a San Francisco restaurant where entry was by password. About 50 people attended.
During an exit poll, 86 percent of attendees said they wanted to meet someone from the event again, Arthurs says. One pair contacted SoFi after the event to ask about meeting and are going to dinner on the startup's dime. Arthurs has heard of other pairings from the event as well.
Similar events are planned for this week in New York and Washington D.C., and a Los Angeles event is in the works as well. By the second half of the year, SoFi also hopes to complete work on a new dating app, Arthurs says.
SoFi as a dating service differs from the likes of Tinder and OkCupid in an obvious way: It has users' financial information. How this information will play into the app is still being worked out, Arthurs says.
You can be pretty sure, though, that the median salary of people on the app will be high relative to typical dating services. SoFi users must have credit scores higher than 700 and tend to earn salaries above $60,000. However, Arthurs notes some users make less than $25,000 a year. Approval for loans from SoFi is based on applicants being able to prove they can pay off the loan.
SoFi CEO Mike Cagney first teased the app on Re/code podcast Re/code Decode earlier this month. He insisted the move was "not just because I want to run an ad saying, 'When did your bank ever get you a date?'"
The startup's goal since it launched was to provide banking services with a more personal touch. It doesn't get much more personal than offering your customers matchmaking services.
The title of Claire Arthurs and spelling of her last name have been corrected in this article.