🌱 Startup stories

Batch of S21 - Lovena is changing the online dating game!

What the heck is going on in the dating scene nowadays? Why is it so hard to find a true companion? Is there anything that can be done?

Katri Gruner

https://www.linkedin.com/in/katri-gruner/

April 23, 2021

Photo: Here are the Lovena founders starting from the right: Katri Gruner (project manager), Lauri Kuparinen (Technical director), Janika Arola (marketing and sales) and Hannu Huuskonen ( Investor/advisor)

Empty profiles, inappropriate suggestions, people who are just testing their “market value” (is there still somebody, who finds me attractive?) and conversations, that have no point. These are just some of the reasons why people are finding dating, and especially online dating more frustrating than joyful. In many cases it can cause stress, low self-esteem and even depression.

Still there are millions of people looking for love and a long-term relationship. Many of them are dreaming of having kids someday. Our society has experienced a whole new type of challenge, called dating fatigue. Dating especially online is very shallow and short-sighted nowadays. Studies show that although women have a shorter time frame to start a family (because of biological facts), being lonely is causing depression, isolation and even health issues to men also.

Creating new ways to connect online can be part of the solution. The Internet is the only way to bring together a massive amount of people from all over the world who have the same goal: to find love. This is why we started to develop an online dating platform called Lovena, which we think will be the next big thing in the dating industry!

Being active is the key!

Meeting somebody online doesn’t have to take away the fun of being active and meeting people live. Our biggest mission is to match our “ready to find a love -customers” and encourage them to meet in real life. Unlike other platforms, we are focusing to ask THE most important questions regarding life values and lifestyle. In the future our customers are able to settle a date through the platform and also buy ready-made dating packages from various options. We are excited to make collaborations with restaurants, activity centers and other service providers in the future to invite our users to have fun and memorable dates.

I have been personally in the dating industry from the beginning of 2018 and started with a matchmaking service. Unfortunately, as a one women company I didn’t have enough marketing capacity to make my business bloom. Still I felt a huge urge to help all the singles out there! I’m a big believer of single events, although they have a slightly bad reputation in Finland. This is only because in our culture being single is often linked to feeling shame and being some way failed in life. This is absolutely not true and this assumption needs to be changed!

I ended up planning events for single people. My own background comes from being over 15 years in the health industry, so I found training events to be the most natural way of bringing people together. We are planning to combine online dating with live single events, so that our customers can increase the possibility to meet the right one.

We all have the same mission

I actually met Lovena founders Lauri Kuparinen and Janika Arola in my single events 2018 and funny but true - ended up working with them as well! They both have a good experience of online dating platforms and Lauri has the technical knowledge as being a tech nerd of our Lovena team. The reason I asked Janika to join our team is because she is driven, energetic and has lots of experience of selling and marketing. Our fourth member and capital investor Hannu Huuskonen is running his own sijoittaja.fi platform and his role is being a background player in this project (but still being a good support).

Our mission is to make online dating less shallow and stressful, especially for those who are looking for a long-term relationship. What is the most important thing is that when we started to design this platform we gathered a mastermind group including only our potential customers: Singles, who are trying to find love. They are validating our ideas and with their help we will be able to create the best possible service for all the singles out there!


Kiuas S21 questions

What was your childhood dream job?
To be a police, definitely. I tried to get into the police academy three times and the last time I was missing only 2 points. It was devastating, but later I became an emergency center officer. Close enough!

If you would get 1 billion euros right now, what would you do?
1. Buy a Land Rover for my dad. 2. Help my sister and make her dreams come true 3. Have a rerun of my wedding :D!

Choose: A world with fast internet everywhere, anytime vs. A world with personal flying vehicles. Why?
Maybe the first option, because it’s so freaking frustrating when the Wi-fi is not working correctly!

If you could change one law in Finland, what would it be?
I would make all the people who hurt children to have life sentences. For life!

Ideal vacation: a) A ride to space and back, b) 2 weeks in an all-inclusive, all paid beach resort, c) a week of alpine ski-hiking and riding in the Alps.
When considering all the alternatives I guess, that from the trip b) and c) you are more likely to come back some day. My skiing skills are pretty bad, but this might be a good chance to learn!

Katri Gruner

https://www.linkedin.com/in/katri-gruner/

April 23, 2021

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Originally published on

April 23, 2021