That's how much online dating companies are expected to make in 2013 by helping lonely hearts find love on the Internet.The industry has been growing steadily for half a decade, so it's no wonder that older digital yentas like and e are seeing competition from app startups like the enthusiastic Let's Date, the gay and bisexual service Grindr, and the somewhat-forward Down (if you must ask the question "to do what?
"Our goal is to create more high-potential first dates," said the company's founder, Justin Mc Leod, at Since potential dates share mutual friends, there's less of a risk involved in going out, Mc Leod argued.
That means less time online and more time holding hands on cute, wobble-filled ice skating adventures or going on my personal dream date.
"You can stare at someone's dating profile forever but know within the first five minutes of meeting them whether it's going to be a fit," Mc Leod said.
For those wary of online creepers, the Hinge model seems appealing—it's like meeting a mutual friend at a dinner party, but on your phone.
Investors certainly see a business potential: The company raised $4 million this fall.