The League, an exclusive dating app hoping to connect “high quality” singles, has raised $2.1 million in venture funding, CEO Amanda Bradford told Re/code.
The round includes investment firms like IDG Ventures, Structure Capital, xSeed Capital, and Sherpa Ventures, as well as a handful of individual angel investors, Bradford added.
The League just launched in San Francisco in November, and unlike most consumer products, it’s not going after a massive user base. It started with 1,000 carefully curated users, and now just 4,500 people in the Bay Area are active on the app. In fact, more than 20,000 people around the country currently sit on The League’s waiting list.
This is all by Bradford’s design. She wants every user of the platform to be “high quality” — that is, professionals who are serious about dating. New users are only welcome if they’ve been invited by a friend already on the service, or pass The League’s vetting process after a stint on the waiting list.
“We will kick people out if they’re being offensive,” says Bradford. “This is a classy establishment. We think of it as a bar or a nightclub where we do enforce that behavior on our users.”
This vetting process means The League is spreading very slowly to new cities. Two months after launch, it’s still only available in the Bay Area (although New York and Los Angeles are next, says Bradford).
Bringing on investors won’t speed up that process, she added. In fact, the biggest thing the money brings to The League is time — Bradford can now afford to patiently expand her business as it gains traction among singles.
She will, however, start to experiment on ways to bring in revenue. When you aren’t going after massive growth, flipping the business switch early is more important, she explains. The League is beta testing a premium subscription model that will ensure a user’s profile appears in front of others they’ve expressed interest in (translation: there’s a better chance you’ll be matched).
She’s also considering a matchmaker service for the busiest of professionals. In other words, someone at The League will do your online dating for you — you simply need to show up for the date.
“The demographic we’re targeting has the money to spend and will spend it,” she said. “It’s just a matter of aligning the right feature set for the user.”
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.