Being single can be both fun and difficult. On the one hand, you have fewer commitments and more freedom to make decisions without having to worry about an extra person in your life. On the other hand, it can feel like everyone around you, from your parents to your friends, is convinced you’re just one blind date away from finding “the one.” Invisible Girlfriend and its partner, Invisible Boyfriend, have created a service that will give singles their own fake girlfriend or boyfriend so they can enjoy being single while being able to deflect the pressure put on them to settle down as soon as possible.
Launched in 2013 during St. Louis Startup Weekend (an event where entrepreneurs work together to form start ups), Invisible Girlfriend has operators that will send you personalized text messages, voicemails, and even presents, seemingly from a significant other. It also provides you with a selfie of your date to show your friends and family in order to assuage them from the belief that you’re going to die alone. Co-founder Matt Homann, having recently gone through a divorce and tired of family members setting an extra plate for him at dinner, bought the trademarks earlier in the year and presented the idea to his team who built a prototype that weekend, securing $50,000 in the process. (See Techli coverage of Invisible Girlfriend HERE.)
Check out this video of Invisible Girlfriend on Conan O’Brien.
Since then, Invisible Girlfriend has blown up with online coverage, earning the business unprecedented amounts of press. The majority of this coverage has been overwhelmingly positive, which is pleasantly surprising in an age where pairing technology with relationships seems to always inspire controversy. The organization has been steadily gaining steam, now operating with thousands of users generating tens of thousands in annual revenue since Invisible Girlfriend’s launch in January. “We’ve had more users testing it than we could have ever imagined,” says cofounder Kyle Tabor.
With all of those users testing the product, there’s been an interesting development in the use of the product. Not everyone who uses the service does so for the express purpose of warding off nosey friends and families. Some find they actually appreciate having a companion who sends them uplifting messages throughout the day. Others have used it as a means of exploring what they want in relationships. “This is more than just a story to tell people,” Tabor says. “It can also be a friendship.”
Invisible Girlfriend has proven its versatility and Tabor has stated he hopes the company continues to expand and develop, becoming more efficient in the coming future. It is definitely one to keep your eye on, if only in the event you need a new way to get out of those blind dates your folks keep setting up.