Will an 'Anti-Superficial' Dating App Find Love in LA?

Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

Will an 'Anti-Superficial' Dating App Find Love in LA?
Courtesy of S'More

If you think someone is attractive, swipe right. If you don't, swipe left and you never see them again. That's how Tinder and its scores of imitators have defined online dating for the last eight years. But for those looking for a deeper connection, S'More, which stands for "Something More," expands to Los Angeles Wednesday, bringing what it bills an "anti-superficial" dating app to a city with a reputation for superficiality.


Courtesy S'More

Users receive recommended profiles each day based on common interests, similar to Coffee Meets Bagels. However, on this app the pictures are blurred out. As you start to chat more with someone, their pictures come into focus. The idea is to get people to interact rather than just quickly swiping through photos. The process has drawn comparisons to the Netflix hit, "Love is Blind," though S'More launched last year, before the show premiered in February.

There have been signs of dating app fatigue, though Bumble and Tinder both saw large upticks in usage when people were confined to their homes during stay at home orders. For those who do not want to meet in-person, S'More also allows users to initiate a video chat where during the first two minutes, both sides are blurred. If both decide they want to see each other, the blurring goes away.

"With video dating, women often express feeling uncomfortable with existing technology because it feels too invasive and unsafe," said Adam Cohen Aslatei, CEO of S'More. "S'More completely changes the experience, removes the risk, and makes the process fun and exciting. If a user isn't enjoying the conversation, they can end it before ever seeing (or being seen) by the other person. Blurred videos also encourage longer conversations, and provide an added sense of security."

The company says it already has a waiting list of thousands in L.A., which will be its fifth market, after New York, Boston, Washington DC, and Chicago.

Aslatei is former managing director of Chappy, Bumble's gay dating app. S'More has backing from Benson Oak Ventures, Social Discovery Ventures, and power angels Josh Black (Apollo Management), and Mark Rosner (App Lovin).

https://twitter.com/thebenbergman
ben@dot.la

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Behind Her Empire: Sprinkles Cupcake Co-Founder Candace Nelson On Finding Your Market Niche

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

​Sprinkles' Founder Candace Nelson
image courtesy of Candace Nelson

With multiple TLC shows devoted to them, and high-end bakeries popping up all over the country, it’s hard to imagine there was ever a time when cupcake brands weren’t a thing.

But when Candace Nelson introduced Sprinkles Cupcakes in 2005, the market looked a lot different. On this episode of the “Behind Her Empire” podcast, the Sprinkles co-founder shares her journey to revolutionize the baking industry.


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How Akenta Health Plans To Make It Easier for LA Latinos to Access Health Care

Amrita Khalid
Amrita Khalid is a tech journalist based in Los Angeles, and has written for Quartz, The Daily Dot, Engadget, Inc. Magazine and number of other publications. She got her start in Washington, D.C., covering Congress for CQ-Roll Call. You can send tips or pitches to amrita@dot.la or reach out to her on Twitter at @askhalid.
How Akenta Health Plans To Make It Easier for LA Latinos to Access Health Care
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Just 6% of doctors and surgeons in In L.A. County identifies as Hispanic. Considering the county has the largest Latino community in the U.S., comprising roughly 49% of the population, the shortage of Spanish-speaking physicians has long been an issue. Akenta Health — a mobile health care platform geared toward Latinos that set up shop in Los Angeles this year — is hoping to change that.

“Language can help with empathy,” said founder and CEO Marco Paschina. “But if you go see a doctor that doesn’t speak your language, it’s very hard to create that empathy.”

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https://twitter.com/askhalid

I Tried the Latest VR Meeting Platform. Here’s Why Mass Adoption May Still Be a Long Shot

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

I Tried the Latest VR Meeting Platform. Here’s Why Mass Adoption May Still Be a Long Shot
Photo: Mesmerise

I’m standing in the center of my home office, feeling the full weight of the Oculus Quest 2 headset slouching on my forehead as I prepare for my first-ever virtual reality meeting.

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