Dobbie looks to expand dating site network beyond UK shores

There’s an auld saying down our way: where there’s muck, there’s money. It’s a motto that perhaps Bill Dobbie and Max Polyakov ought to have hanging over their office doors, Dobbie in his office in Edinburgh and his recently departed partner in the US, where he’s gone to dabble in gaming – the gambling type, not prostitution.

Last week we reported on the amicable split between the two, the market reaction from Courtland Brooks and the sizeable chunk of profit each of the gents made. On paper, when you see quotes like ‘profit up 67% to £7M pre-tax’ and compare it to the global figure that online dating is reputedly worth, $2.1bn last official figure I saw, you tend to think of said chunk of profit as not such a big deal.

But then you read another snippet in Scotland’s Sunday Mail which states that Cupid Plc was not only the fastest growing technology company in 2011 but the nineteenth fastest growing company in any field, as reported by Deloitte; it’s then you start to sit up and take notice of exactly how much the dating site industry is worth – and particularly their little corner of it – and you get an idea of what these two guys have done in a comparatively short space of time. And they’re not stopping there.

Dobbie has achieved what he set out to do and that is become one of the most formidable players on the UK online dating scene. Perhaps that is the reason Ukrainian partner decided to turn his attention to pastures new in The States, but it is clear that Dobbie still believes there is mileage in pushing dating sites further. Next step, in his own words, is to become ‘a true international player.’

And, according to the same report in the Scottish newspaper this Sunday, he is well on the way to doing that with the links they ‘uncovered’ to other sites unnamed on his staple affiliate dating site page.

The ‘revelation’ is that Dobbie is the owner of Alcuda, who in turn own UpForItNetworks,com. This sees a new side line for Dobbie only in the fact that the dating sites in that network cater for those who are in a relationship, under titles such as BeDiscreet.com, whereas his main fortune has come from solely catering for the singles network.

Let’s face it, for every person on the planet there is a dating site for their sexual preference, so why the newspaper have taken umbrage with the dating site owner over this branch of his main business when he and Max have put so much back into the UK economy over the last five to seven years, who knows. The real story is how two guys with knowledge of a market and how to brand that knowledge have made a kick-ass living out of doing it and turned the dream into a reality.

Whether we like it or not, dating sites are here to stay and you’d rather have someone with an in depth knowledge of the industry taking care of personal details you may not want leaking out than a brand new start up. Something tells me, even though Max has gone to pastures new, Dobbie has not made his last million out of the dating game, yet.

Online dating without the hassle

Leaving the business world in which you have grown up professionally can be a daunting, if not altogether terrifying, decision; especially when the firm you work for is a world-renowned global debt, asset management and finance corporation. But for Alexandre Errera and Maxime Leufroy-Murat, that was the life-changing alternative they chose when leaving behind Morgan Stanley and its graduate program to set up exclusive online dating facility personaldatingagent.com.

For the two gents, who met on the graduate program, the instant connection they made would be the catalyst that eventually realised their early recognition that they wanted to work together on a project outside of the financial institution’s confines. It took them a while to get there, but the seed had been sown whilst working at the multi-national giant’s London headquarters – the dating site industry had a niche gap that needed filling, and these were the two guys to plug that hole.

Working in the city can generate an affluence of cash in your bank balance. However, the long hours and draining manner of handling some of the biggest funds in the world can leave you with little time or energy for anything else, let alone trying to incorporate a love life. It was here that Alex and Max realised they could provide a service: employing relationship experts to handle the monotonous side of dating whilst alleviating its members of some of their over-burdening bank balance. Kind lads, indeed; nay, almost saint-like.

leave it to the experts, for a price

This is not a free dating service, by any stretch of the imagination. The packages they provide range from $300-$1200 per month with an intermediate $525 deal. That may seem a staggering amount, but these guys, with the business acumen they acquired whilst working in the city , did their marketing on the spot. It was a while after they had decided to work together long term that they hit upon the idea of an online dating service; one that wasn’t right up there with the top end of the A-list dating market but could offer so much more than the multi-million membership sites who fight for the bulk of the global online dating membership.

The service they provide is , however, first class and tailored to the busy city slicker lifestyle.  Upon joining, you will get a personalised call from one of their ‘agents’. They will literally take the headache of filling in a dating portfolio from you, use humans, not algorithms, to filter the matchmaking search to find you a ‘guaranteed number of dates each month’ and finally arrange the meeting offline on our behalf. All you have to do is turn up.

After initially having trouble hiring dating experts and writers, they are now ready to rumble; whether you are a resident of the capital or not, PDA is looking to serve a global audience. And, really, the high end package not only guarantees you 4+ dates per month but also picks your clothes, gives advice and includes a pro photo-shoot. Wow.

As Stevie V once warbled ‘money talks, dirty cash I want you, dirty cash I need you, whoa-oa!