Tinder’s competition? Robots.

The next wave of dating apps reach scale by removing the human.

This post was first published on The Generalist, a newsletter about the future for the digressive and curious. You can sign up here.

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Blued

With much focus on TikTok’s potential US ban, another Chinese company slipped relatively under-the-radar. BlueCity (BLCT), a dating business for the LGTBQ community, listed on the Nasdaq this week, raising $84.8 million at a valuation of $614 million. The company’s app, Blued, has 49 million registered users spanning 210 countries, 49% located in China. Other large markets include India, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. Interestingly, BLCT monetizes in a manner that would have been familiar to King Pumayyaton: gifts. Over live video streams, users can make virtual offerings, whether they be an emoji heart or animated watermelon. That proposition seems to have resonated with the BLCT base: revenue grew 51.5% in 2019 to $108 million.

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Love and Producer

Romantic services are emerging focused on a different, final form of abstraction: the human. Personality, humanity, the soul, whatever makes us ineffably ourselves is being removed from the equation.

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The Possible Girls Theorem

In “Multi-Love,” Unknown Mortal Orchestra frontman Ruban Nielson sings about the complications in his marriage that arose once he and his wife brought another party into their relationship.

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Tech from idea to IPO at readthegeneralist.com. Investing in chaotic-good founders at charge.vc

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