Apps / Lifestyle

This Philly startup founder set out to create an anti-ghosting dating app

Earl Knight is launching Not Another Dating App, where users can swipe on each others' planned dates. The goal is to get people together in person more quickly.

Not Another Dating App. (Image via
Update: Details of the founder's early career moves have been clarified. (7/29/12:30 p.m.)

Earl Knight met his fiancé on a dating app. He’d written on his profile that he had tickets to an awards show and asked if someone wanted to go with him. She didn’t want to go to the show, but the pair still got a drink together. Hanging out morphed into a relationship.

Three years later, Knight is launching his own dating app, Not Another Dating App (NADA), an app where users create a profile and plan a date. As he describes it, if you like the date someone plans, you can swipe on them and actually go have the experience rather than messaging back and forth until maybe someone asks the other person out.

His journey to creating this app started back when Knight was running the startup GoBabl, a location-based social media analytics platform, he told Knight sold that company — he said he couldn’t share details of the exit — and pursued roles at other tech companies to gain more traditional product management experience.

He went to work for various startups and eventually with The Meet Group, the New Hope-based company that makes dating apps such as MeetMe and Tagged. As a senior product manager, Knight learned about analytics and data — but also, that there were areas of the dating app industry that were not being addressed.

Earl Knight. (Courtesy photo)

“We found a major gap in the dating app market,” he said. “And the gap was, people are ghosting each other. They’re matching with each other but nothing happens after the match.”

NADA aims to solve that problem by making it easier for people to actually meet after they match.

Users can access some aspects of the app for free, but a subscription at $12.99 per month includes access to super likes, access to view all of the users who like your dates, and the ability to message old dates.

The entire process of creating the app was only eight months, according to Knight. It will debut on the Apple app store within the next few weeks, with a goal of Aug. 5.

The target audience for the app is women ages 18 to 40 and men ages 25 to 40. Because this app requires each user to plan dates, Knight anticipates it being used by a higher socioeconomic group — those with more disposable income to plan and go on dates.

The company works remotely, with the founder based near Brewerytown. Knight calls Philly one of the hottest places for millennials and millennial singles, referencing its #13 ranking on a list of best cities for pandemic dating. When the app launches, anyone in the United States will be able to download it, but Philadelphia is the app’s pilot city, so the majority of its first users will likely be here. His team plans to later focus on NYC, DC, Atlanta, and Miami.

“Philadelphia has one of the most diverse communities here, right?” he said. “We wanted a place where our app could reflect the kind of people that are building it.”

Knight said ultimately, he hopes the app will bring people closer together, especially in a world where people are so used to just talking online.

“Our hopes are that more people will get married because of this app,” he said. “More people will connect with each other because of this app.”

Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

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