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Anderson hopes to soon hit 10,000 users, and is also already working on making to app more inclusive of blind users.“I hope that the future of dating for people with disabilities will improve and this is just one step towards that,” adds Anderson.
Vancouverites in their early to mid-30s gravitate more toward online dating than do counterparts in cities such as New York, Toronto or Los Angeles.In his vast love machine in downtown Vancouver, the man who brings romance to millions around the world is braced for the most passionate time of the year.As Valentine’s Day looms, Plentyof Fish founder and CEO Frind knows that the world’s desire for love, or at least a reasonable facsimile of love, is about to peak. Plentyof Fish sees spikes in new memberships after most holidays during which families get together, Frind says.“There’s pressure from family.Frind says people in their 20s are a bigger presence in Vancouver’s nightclub scene than in other cities, prompting older singles to go online in their quest for company.A HOBBY TURNED PASSIONPlentyof Fish was born in 2003 when Frind, a graduate of B. Institute of Technology’s computer systems technology program, wanted to learn a new programming language.And what’s in this irresistible potion that typically fuels a 23-per-cent jump in sign-ups at Plentyof Fish between Boxing Day and the Wednesday after Feb. Grandparents asking, ‘Why don’t you have a boyfriend?
’” says Frind, 35.“Then you go, ‘OK, I’ve got to find someone for Valentine’s Day.’”COURTING THE WORLDPlentyof Fish has a terrific track record when it comes to getting grandparents off one’s back.Frind, who was then working for a Vancouver-based dot-com, created Plentyof Fish in his spare time.“A dating site was the hardest way I could think of at the time to learn a new language,” he says.“In the first month, I made a thousand dollars and from then on I was convinced I should make this thing work.”He ran the company by himself from a spare bedroom of his apartment for five years until it reached million in annual revenue.“There were 15 million users and no employees,” he says.The 11-year-old company estimates one million relationships a year begin on its website.Its amorous constituency has grown well beyond Canada.In September, Plentyof Fish bought Fast Life, a company that hosts speed dating and singles events in Canada, Australia and the U. LOOKING FOR THE FAIRY-TALE ENDINGThose hoping for a fairy tale about how Frind met his own partner through Plentyof Fish will be disappointed.