4 minutes

8 Southern Startups Playing Cupid this Valentine’s Day


Looking for love in all the wrong places? Thanks to the digital world, you’ve got plenty of other options. From Tinder and Bumble to Zoosk and (yes – this is real) GlutenFreeSingles.com, America’s online and mobile dating industry is a hard one to ignore. It’s a $2.2 Billion market with an ever-growing and active user base; Nielsen data suggests that one in 10 adults spend over an hour per day checking dating sites or apps.

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, we found eight Southern startups jumping into the dating game…so whether you’re tired of swiping left and right, or you’re just curious about what your single friends are up to, you’ll want to take (love) notes on these. And don’t worry, couples, there are a few on here for you, too.

  • So long, Craigslist Missed Connections! Baltimore-based Heyy App is a new way to find that girl you locked eyes with in the grocery store. The patent-pending mobile posting system allows users to post a geo-tagged “Heyy” to connect with new people, or tag a location as a meeting spot.
  • If you’ve ever bought concert tickets only to invite someone who hates your taste in music, this app could be your saving grace. Soon to launch in DC, Datelytics is a social dating network that fosters connections through local events. The app recommends a collection of activities or events you’d like, and once you select which ones to attend, it notifies like-minded users who also want to go.
  • Similarly, Miami-based Jabo App matches singles based on their preferred activities. Only with this one, a bit of spandex and sweat is involved. After you match with another user, you can initiate a chat based on an activity category such as yoga, cycling, or running. You can then decide to meet up for a jog or attend a local fitness class together.
  • Wanna get by with a little help from your friends? Love Schmove is like the 2016 version of your crazy but doting Aunt Linda who’s always trying to set you up with someone. The site enables singles to date online with the support (and endorsement) of family and friends. Every dater on the site must have at least one “backer” to provide a reference, and backers can also help suggest possible matches.
  • Richmond-based Luhvah is for our coupled-up readers looking to amp up the romance. Using the private, secure app, couples can flirt, chat, and express what they’re thinking or feeling throughout the day. Messages get deleted as your partner views so neither of you have to have an awkward conversation with your co-workers…
  • Wondering why your online dating profile doesn’t seem to have success? Yeah, it’s probably just the profile. Never fear – Nashville startup IgniteYourMatch can help you through their review system. The site submits your online dating page to 10 similarly aged men or women that you want to date and allows you to ask questions about how to improve it.
  • You’ve probably heard of subscription boxes like Birchbox, Bark Box, and NatureBox, and now there’s one for creative dates! DC-based Date to Door sends couples all the makings of a fun date night in one package, with one-month, three-month, and six-month subscription plans.
  • The Miami-based WhoNow App helps you easily and privately share your dating life with real friends. Don’t know where to take her for dinner? Trying to decide what to wear? Post pictures, share stories, and ask for feedback and advice. Comments within the app are anonymous but always from your most trusted friends or people you spend time with #IRL.


So here’s to texting, shared Wifi passwords, and heart-eyes emojis: the future of romance as we know it. We hope these companies continue to #SucceedInTheSouth, and that they bring you a little lovin’ while they’re at it. Happy Valentine’s Day!