The Financial Post wrote a piece for their Entrepreneur section regarding the matchmaking industry in Canada. Sam Moorcroft, President and Co-Founder of ChristianCafe.com, was included in the piece. Sam talked about starting the business and then adapting to the changing online dating space.
Here is the part of the article:
Sam Moorcroft, President and CEO, ChristianCafe.com
In 1998, Sam Moorcroft, was an unemployed, lonely MBA graduate living in Vancouver. After trying to find a mate through a dating service, the Evangelical Christian decided to tackle the business -helping Christian singles. As the Markham, Ont., resident says, “Those people don’t want to be on Match or Lavalife. They want to be somewhere where they know half the battle is won.”
Mr. Moorcroft, who founded the business with his brother Philip, initially advertised at Canadian churches, singles events, and in Canadian media, but within a year realized his market was in the United States, where he says 30% to 50% of people identify as Born Again Christians. In 1999 he launched ChristianCafe.com, offering the first two months free but quickly switching to a subscription model because “the desire to mate and to match is almost overwhelming and people will pay for that.” Mr. Moorcroft anticipated his competitors pricing him out of Google ads, so he had his staff pre-emptively create an extensive affiliate program whereby dating-focused websites promote his company and, in return, receive a percentage for every new paid member.”
His advice: “You have to have deep pockets. We didn’t. My brother [now a silent partner] and I used low-interest credit cards to get started. . Even though we’re using creative strategies to stay afloat, we still need a lot of cash flow to do what we do, and at the beginning we needed money. You need to have a rich bank account yourself, or a side job, or rich relatives, or angel investors.”