Not every breakup can change your life, but in the case of David Vermeulen it was the spark needed to kickstart his most successful enterprise to date. The Inner Circle is considered one the fastest-growing tech companies in the Netherlands (at least according to DeloitteTechnologyFast 50) and nowadays moves to the tune of 1.6 million subscribers in over 30 countries.
“In the beginning it was me, single and looking for a serious relationship after a breakup,” David explains to The Bubble from the comfort of Cohiba Atmosphere, the venue chosen by KRB Group to officially launch the platform in Buenos Aires. “I was almost 35 and I signed up for two different websites, but what I found out is that on a lot of these sites and apps, they try to get as many people [to join] as possible. What I wanted to do is get people together that are on the same page in life, that are like-minded, and try to focus on more serious relationships. That was the basic idea of it.”
Refining the online dating experience
One of the biggest differentials of The Inner Circle is that those people who want to join must receive prior approval of their membership. Only the real and selected profiles can be qualified as members for the purpose of building a community of people who are interested in genuine relationships. To achieve this, The Inner Circle analyzes social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn. As David explains, “at the moment you do that, you share some information from those platforms, and that information has to do with your education, your profession, your age, your pictures. And based on that we can see if the person is a good fit for us.”
With its algorithm-based technology, The Inner Circle wishes to fill a void that David signaled out in most dating apps: trust and safety. In his opinion, since most of these are quantity-oriented, it’s all too common common to find anonymous profiles and nicknames with dubious origins (hello, twinklestar29). Besides, profile pictures lend themselves to false expectations, which is why The Inner Circle prohibits photos with filters and favors simple, close-up images that stay true to reality.
As mentioned before, The Inner Circle takes into account profession and education backgrounds as well, guaranteeing that the matches you achieve lead to meaningful conversations and more serious relationship starters. The result is an exclusive community in which 20 percent of its members come from the world of finance, medicine, business, and technology, with close to 1.5 million people on the wait list. In the very short time it’s been available in Buenos Aires, for example, the community has reached 6,000 people and is quickly expanding.
From the digital space to the real world
“We take the online, offline,” reads The Inner Circle’s official website. “Hosted in some of the most sought-after venues around the world, we put on exclusive monthly events, meaning matches can become experiences, and your real-life love story can begin.” In that sense, the app is one of the few to emphasize collective gatherings that transcend smartphone screens, hosting over 300 events around the world for over 40,000 members. These events are wide ranging and include polo tournaments, ski weeks, and dance nights. “We decided to host events around the world that make it feel more like a community,” David explains. “The community aspect was in it from the beginning, from day one. Every time we enter a new city, we organize events.”
Buenos Aires meets The Inner Circle
One of the most interesting elements of The Inner Circle is how it takes on the characteristics of each country in which it launches. The communities generated in Europe differ greatly from those in Asia and in Latin America, a region where it’s only currently in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and now Buenos Aires. David elaborates on this point with an example: “What we see in Latin America is that people like to go out more, so the sections of the app in which you can share your favorite restaurants, people like to use it a lot here, while in Europe it’s a bit less. But the travel section of the app, one that lets you connect with people abroad, is being used more in Europe and that has to do with the fact that distances are shorter over there and traveling is more affordable. It’s a cultural difference.”
In that sense, it’s still too early to determine how the Argentine capital in particular will adopt The Inner Circle and make it its own, yet David sees big potential due to the city’s international reputation. “I believe there is a big crowd here in Buenos Aires that definitely would appreciate this. Things are done here in such a good, classy way. You see people spend a lot of time and money to make things right and that’s exactly what we’re also about.”
To top it all off, David referenced an analogy with a certain Dutch queen of Argentine origins that currently rules in Europe. “Buenos Aires, like Maxima, is high class. Good taste. That’s how we think of Maxima. Argentina is the baroness of South America, so I think it’s a really good fit for the Inner Circle.”
For more information about The Inner Circle visit their website: https://www.theinnercircle.co/