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For the majority of us, good manners and common courtesy are second nature and require no special thought. During the course of your day you will inevitably cross paths with someone who is less than polite, maybe even rude.


I want to find out how. Ludovic Huraux is the founder of Attractive World, a french dating site that was acquired by Affinitas.

Andrew : Hey, everyone. My name is Andrew Warner. And one of the fascinating things to me about his company is that it was a dating company. Dating has a small shelf life. Paid acquisition channels are expensive. City by city expansion, he says, sucks. It really is challenging. Demographics mismatch with investors—there are so many reasons why dating sites are tough to build and to grow and to make successful. How did he do it? And how was he able to build something up and sell it?

His name is Ludovic Huraux. He is the founder of Attractive World, which is a French dating site that was acquired by Affinitas, a German company. But you can see I have to wait 13 more hours before I get to go back into it. It basically uses all the mechanics of dating, the stuff you might expect from an app like Tinder, to match you up with people that you might want to network with and meet for coffee and do work Attractive world dating. I get to do all this because of two great sponsors.

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First, Ludovic, welcome. Ludovic : Thank you for the invitation.

Andrew : What did you sell the company for? Andrew : No, sorry. How much, I should say—how much did you sell it for?

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Ludovic : We cannot talk about that. I have an NDA with the seller. Ludovic : Yes, you can say that. Andrew : We can say that? All right. Ludovic : No. I cannot talk about that. Andrew : Okay. Fair enough. Before this, you were working at a private equity firm in Paris. What did you do there? Ludovic : Yes. I was working in an LBO firm and I was—. Andrew : Leveraged buyout. Ludovic : Leveraged buyouts, yes. Andrew : As a kid, this is how geeky I was—as a kid, I wanted to do leveraged buyouts.

The idea behind a leveraged buyout is you have a little bit of money. You Attractive world dating a whole lot more. And then you go and you buy a company, you turn it around and then you sell it and boom, right? You end up with this big windfall and you get to go do it again and again and again.

Andrew : Lots of companies have done it. Ludovic : Exactly. It was a good period. You really need to know a lot of the [inaudible ] the sport players if you want to succeed. So I decided to work in finance. So I decided on this LBO firm.

How should you behave on the internet?

I had carried interests. I was on the board of a company with employees. So my mother was very proud of me, and I was getting money. I was very happy about that. But every week, I wanted to create a company. I had a new idea and I was making my business plan.


So I had a lot of ideas. Andrew : And you kept telling your friends about them. What was that idea? So I booked apartments. But there was nothing at this time like Airbnb. So it was very difficult for us to find a very nice apartment with my friends. Andrew : The realtor. I saw that it could be the same, but only for short-time rents.

Otherwise, just do Attractive world dating and we will support you. Andrew : I see. Inthere was only one dating website in France called Meetic. And they were very comfortable. They were public. There was no other dating website as a competitor. I saw that the market was going to be segmented and probably that we would have a space in the premium dating. My friend invested at the very beginning of the company. I did not have any business partner who knows marketing. Andrew : It was just you with some money from your friend. How much money did you raise the first time?

Andrew : And by the way, you were in your early 20s. You were like 22 years old when you were working for the LBO firm. That just goes to show how great it is to start at an LBO firm because you make good money, which sadly you had to give up and your friends make good money, which means you have access to their wallets a little bit and to their intelligence and their connections, which is fantastic. Andrew : You did?

Andrew : If you quit? You make a deal with your boss and you have an agreement and you quit and you get money to help you to create your company. Andrew : Wait, is that if you quit for any reason, or if you quit to start a new company? That is unbelievable. I had no idea. So now, you have this money.

Who did you go find to create the first version of the software for you? Ludovic : I went to see some students. So I made so many mistakes the first two years. Andrew : You just went to two students? Why two students?

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I was not a geek. Andrew : Literally, is that true? Andrew : Because you could have it. The way I sought the positioning and the way we launched Attractive World was very different from the other websites. The first months, you can only up. If you were accepted, it will be free forever. So we had a lot of ups through this marketing. Ludovic : And we selected our first 1, members. Maybe we had 5, up. We selected 1, We opened the website and people were so happy. They talked about that.

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AttractiveWorld is one of the high end dating sites of Spark Networks.