First Round: Love, outsourced

Being an old-fashioned romantic sort of magazine intro section, First Round can’t help but worry about all those bustling young private equity types who spend their evenings crunching data and reading pitchbooks, all the while potentially missing out on the opportunity to meet the love of their life at the kind of local dive bars where the rest of us mere mortals hang out.

So it was with some excitement that First Round recently discovered that over on the US West Coast, service providers have cropped up to meet that very need.

A recent article in PE Hub expounded the virtues of Linx Dating, a high-end matchmaking service whose 800-strong client base apparently includes VCs at “some of the top five firms out there, and a lot at second-tier venture firms too” – with some of them paying up to $50,000 for its premium suite of services (First Round has been unable to confirm whether fees are directly linked to assets under management, in true private equity style).

However, First Round is reliably informed by its spies in California that the real grand fromage in this space is a company called Kelleher International, whose website describes its (impossibly attractive) staff as “personal headhunters” who help “successful, affluent, educated singles who are passionate about their lives and wish to be more proactive and discerning when it comes to finding their mate … meet exceptional men and women”. This particular matchmaking service has apparently been “making love happen… since 1986”. Which, you’ll no doubt agree, is a whole lotta love.

Now some may consider it rather unromantic to outsource such a significant life decision. But First Round, as its wont, takes a contrarian view: it would argue that the choice of a life partner is far too important to be left to the vagaries of fate. But then it’s very rarely proactive, and hardly ever discerning.