So this is what it’s come to.
The Dating Ring, a Y Combinator-incubated, group matchmaking startup that recently expanded from New York to San Francisco, is running a Crowdtilt campaign with the stated goal of flying women from NYC to SF. Here’s how the campaign page explains it:
There are tons more single women in NYC, and tons more single men in SF. And, see, the two cities are only separated by a bunch of crappy airports, flight delays, and cheap roundtrip flights.
So, we started joking about doing some cross country matchmaking. And you know what they say – make a joke 12 times and it becomes a Crowdtilt. So, America, let’s make this happen.
Asked about the campaign’s origins, Dating Ring CEO Lauren Kay said this is something she’s been joking about for a while, but “my sarcasm tends to get lost on the lovely people of San Francisco.” And as others at YC became excited about the idea, she decided to take it from joke to reality.
At first, I rolled my eyes at how this seems to reinforce the way that both cities, particularly San Francisco, have been caricatured. (Also, not great, as pointed out by another TechCrunch writer: The implicit assumption that all dating is between women and men.) For what it’s worth, Kay told me the stereotypes are backed up by her site’s numbers — in New York, there are 1.82 as many female users as male, while in San Francisco, there are 1.42 as many male users as female.
(Anyway, I’m a guy who recently moved from SF, where I was single, to New York, where I’m still single, so maybe no one should listen to my opinion about these things.) (And yes, TechCrunch is certainly familiar with taking tongue-in-cheek ideas and turning them into Crowdtilt campaigns.)
The company is looking to raise at least $10,000 (with a target of $50,000), and if that happens, it says it will fly women from New York to San Francisco over Memorial Day weekend. There will be “carefully selected, matchmaker-curated dates between NYC women and SF men” as well as a larger gathering. Kay said more than 100 people have contributed already, but it’s showing up as lower on the campaign page due to a Crowdtilt bug.
The company also promises to “re-define the notion of love itself” if the campaign gets funded, so you’ve got that to look forward to.
[hat tip: Taylor Lorenz]