Picky dating app launches in Vancouver

VANCOUVER — There are two glaring problems with swipe-based, online dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble: First, there’s no way of knowing your matches are the elite singles in your area. Second, there’s no way of knowing for certain that you’re one of the elite singles in your area.

Invite-only dating app The League aims to address both issues.

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Already live in 34 American cities, as well as three international hotspots (London, Paris and Toronto), The League launches in Vancouver today.

The League, which bills itself as “a dating app catering to the intelligent, educated and ambitious,” was founded by Amanda Bradford in 2014, after the entrepreneur had an epiphany: Tinder can help you sidestep the unattractive, but it does nothing to protect you from the indigent, and under-employed.

“She realized that on Tinder it was just a swipe culture, a swipe game,” said spokeswoman Meredith Davis. “You weren’t able to get someone’s education or profession, or really any context about a person besides the photos. She believed it was important to know those things up front before going on a date.”

Already with a wait-list of 3,000, The League plans to launch with just 500 carefully curated users, dubbed its “Founding Class” — proving that even among the elite, there is always another echelon.

Those first 500 will enjoy a much higher-minded online dating experience in their digital-gated community, including a human concierge who will respond to all queries within four hours.

“Every user can go into their League app and talk to their concierge, and it’s a real person,” Davis said. Should you match with anyone you feel is “not serious,” for instance, you can take it to the concierge.

After all, The League is designed for “aspiring power couples,” according to a statement issued to the media.

“There’s a lot of dating apps that anyone can download and immediately have a hookup,” Davis said.

Hookups are gauche. The League’s singles merely “connect,” jet-setting and hitting the slopes together, building lasting connections and meeting on rooftops, presumably.

You’re going on dates — The League’s singles are going on trips, which is, of course, something they can all afford to do.

But The League’s supporters bristle at the notion that the app — which features a hyper-selective algorithm designed to weed out all the duds before a human review team takes a second pass at the remaining candidates, accepting some, wait-listing others, and giving the cold shoulder to the rest — is elitist.

Asked about the criticism, Davis compared The League’s choosy nature to that of a university: “It’s not [elitist] at all, unless you want to consider every university to be elitist, which I don’t think is true.”

“We don’t look at how much anyone makes, it’s not about the school that you go to, it’s not about the job that you have — it’s, are you ambitious, are you driven?”

The League determines whether or not you’re ambitious and driven by examining your education level and employment history via your LinkedIn page.

“We authenticate with LinkedIn,” said Davis. “We’re one of the only dating apps that have the LinkedIn API.”

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