Three niche dating sites for targeted romance

Though you wouldn’t know it from walking down the pin-drop-quiet residential street, the neighborhood has become home to several startups including Sound Cloud, which has an office a couple floors down from Ohlala.

When I arrive, there’s a mood of weary intensity among the eight or so team members present.

Pia Poppenreiter, the company’s CEO, stands and greets me with a rushed hug.

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"Search ‘hashtag escortgate’ on Twitter." I do so as we step out to the balcony and she lights up a Marlboro Red.

A pink Ohlala banner tied to the railing billows silently behind her.

Launched in August 2015, Ohlala is a web-based app that facilitates what it calls "instant paid dating." Male users post offers for dates, consisting of a time, a duration, and how much money they’re willing to pay — a typical offer is from 1–4 hours at an average price of $300.

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After spending a lazy Saturday afternoon browsing through the dating app she was currently experimenting with, she hit it off with a nice-sounding guy, and the two exchanged real names and numbers.

She found herself Googling Stuart*, a Brit living in Amsterdam.

He worked at a startup; he was visiting New York on business.

"I was like, oh, he’s kind of …" Neither had plans that night, so they started figuring out where they could meet up for a drink.

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