Sunday, August 14, 2022

Cheek’d Update After Shark Tank – How’s The Dating Service Doing Now In 2022?

Cheek’d’s Appearance on Shark Tank

Lori Cheek, from Cheek'd. Stunning
Lori Cheek

Lori Cheek, the aptly-named founder and CEO of the Cheek’d service, has traveled from New York to the Shark Tank. Lori is seeking an investment of $100,000 in exchange for a 10% stake in her company. Lori Cheek, starts by telling the Sharks more about her service; Cheek’d is like an online dating service, but in reverse. Initial attraction happens face-to-face, while interaction happens safely online. Lori says that she once watched her friend pick up a handsome partner by simply crawling, “Wanna have dinner?” on the back of his business card; Lori left with an idea while her friend left with a date. Handing somebody a note was the most perfect non-intrusive gesture, but Lori jokes she didn’t like the information on the other side of the business card; say, for example, if she were walking down the street and sees someone she likes during her morning commute, she can slip that person a Cheek’d card.

On one side of the Cheek’d card is a simple message that says, “You’ve been cheek’d!” and on the other side is an ice-breaking pick-up line, such as “Act natural, we can get awkward later,” or, “I’m hitting on you {wink}”. If the person chooses to reciprocate and learn more about Lori from her Cheek’d card, all they do is go to the Cheek’d website and type in the unique identification code on the back of the card. This way, neither party has to exchange information amongst each other until the other is ready.
2Lori starts by handing out a pile of Cheek’d cards to each shark, noting that they have been customized for each individual Shark (at this point, I’ll refer to the Shark Lori as Shark Lori). All of the cards come in a neat little plastic container and all the Sharks instantly love the pick-up lines on each card. Even for Robert, he is given the card, “I saw you techin’ me out” (a 6/10 from me – I like it).

Barbara asks to clarify more on the details of the card – is each card’s only customization the ID Code? Lori replies that it is like a checkbook, and Mark probes for more details; Lori says that you go in, create a simply profile from 9 questions and then order a deck of cards. These decks typically come in 50 cards and can be customized – each card can be randomized, or you can put your own specific saying on a card, if you so desire. Kevin asks how much the cards cost, and the cards initially cost $20 but then the user must pay $9.95 a month to keep their profile active. However, the commitment is not long term, and the user can choose to terminate at any point.

Happy and intrigued Mark :)
Happy and intrigued Mark 🙂

Robert asks if most people aren’t using online dating since they are too uncomfortable and shy about approaching people, and makes a great point; if he has the courage to approach someone and hand them a card, doesn’t he also have the courage to go up and simply talk to them? Lori deflects with the answer that “These are all good questions,” but Mark actually steps in and flatly tells Robert that he is wrong. Thinking back to his single days, Mark would throw parties with his friends and they would actually get business cards printed up with the date, location, time, and any other relevant information. It was like an invite to a party, but the point was that it was easier to talk to girls – Robert is missing the point. Paraphrasing what Mark says (and I agree, I love Mark Cuban), there is an end-goal to this conversation with the girl, which is for you to give them the card.

The conversation isn’t a real conversation, but more like a greeting and letting the girl know about the information that a young Mark Cuban and his friends were throwing a party. However, Shark Lori steps in – Mark’s idea was only easier because he was inviting these people to a party, and not going up and saying, “Would your parents love me?” Shark Lori continues on, saying that this means that she is specifically interested in YOU; that person she gave the card to.
Robert asks how many members are online too (Mark wants to know too, and see the side picture for how non-threatening he looks), and Kevin even probes in with the other two Sharks. Lori says that in 2010, she launched her business and so far she has reached customers in 47 states in America, and 27 other countries. However, Barbara asks about the total number of bodies – so far, there are only 4,500 active members, but these people actually have profiles on the site. Robert asks if these people have paid anything, and Lori admits that no, they have not. Lori says that she has had 1,125 people pay for a cheap something, and all the Sharks have questions to launch at Lori.

This is the least threatening /intimidating you will EVER see Mark

Kevin points out an obvious fact – in the lifespan of her business, she has made only “hundreds of dollars,” and he wants to know how she gets by with so little income. Lori starts by saying that she has made $56,000 in 3 and a half years in New York City, and Kevin asks how she can possibly afford to live in New York City. Lori reveals that she was an architect for four years prior to founding Cheek’d, and in the time she was there, she had a pretty amazing wardrobe.

When she came up with the idea for Cheek’d, only 5 years before the airing of this Shark Tank episode, she really committed to making it happen. She sold her entire wardrobe, and she has had to move in with her friends. So far, she has invested $120,000 of her own money. Kevin brings up the brutal reality; three years have gone by, Cheek’d is making no money at all, and Kevin’s definition of a hobby is “something that never makes money after three years.” Lori has lost her apartment, she is starving, and she is losing her business – what else could she possibly sell before having nothing? However, Lori says that she is having technology problems and needs help.

Her website has been broken with the subscription model since day one; Mark loses his eerily calm composure and asks why has she continued to invest money if she can admit that her model is broken? He then says that Lori isn’t doing herself any favors after burning $125,000, though she finally got it fixed. Mark seems lost for words while Lori says that she is intent on making Cheek’d a household business and is going to help the population.
Mark says that he has a rule where when people come in and they’re delusional, he has to be out. And that is what Mark does – he exits the deal. Lori says that maybe she was a little too ambitious for saying that she wanted to change the population, but she does think that people do actually want to meet in the real world. Lori has walked into the Shark Tank today with a working website, a working mobile phone app that’s ready to launch, but Robert says that it’s the exact same business model. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, but so far, Lori has not received a different result.
Kevin steps in and says that he wants to tell Lori a story, and that she will thank him for it; it’s the story about a boy and his dog. One day, the dog went out in the forest and got bit by a raccoon and contracted rabies. The father made the boy take the dog behind the barn and made the son shoot the dog – Kevin insists that Lori’s deal is the rabid dog. He really wants to shoot it, but since Lori won’t let Kevin assume direct control of the entire company, Kevin is out.
Robert says that he thinks he has missed the entire point of online dating – people like online dating because of the anonymity and their busy schedule. He thinks the entire premise is flawed – if he has the courage to go up to a woman like Lori and hand her a card, then he also has the courage to just ask her out. Robert is out next.
Sharks Lori and Barbara are the only ones remaining, and ironically both are female. Shark Lori says that she hasn’t been making any money, but other Lori insists this is due to the fact that her website has been broken, but now that the holes are plugged, she can fix it. She actually read on Shark Lori’s Facebook, “The biggest mistake is to be afraid to make mistakes.” Lori says that she has made every mistake that she can possibly make, and she will take it to the next level with a small financial boost. Unfortunately, Shark Lori says that Lori has to see when something isn’t working and really open their eyes wide and figure out something different to do. Lori is out.
Barbara is the last Shark remaining, and she says that she cannot fault Lori for her obvious passion, since Barbara was in a similar position with her “Flower of the Month Club.” However, Barbara wasn’t listening to the universe telling her, “This isn’t working.” Barbara insists that Cheek’d just isn’t working, but Lori is the right entrepreneur, but this is the wrong business. Kevin remarks “Just shoot it,” and Barbara is the last Shark to exit the deal.
Lori Cheek leaves the Shark Tank without finding her investment from the Sharks, unfortunately.

Cheek’d Now In 2022 – After Shark Tank Update

Lori (the entrepreneur, not the shark) might not have landed a deal with the sharks but that hasn’t stopped her from taking the company further. For one thing, their website received more than 100,000 hits after the episode aired. What’s more, is that many of them left emails, half of which came from prospective investors. Not only that, but they’ve also hired a Chief Technology Officer.

In 2015, just a year after appearing on Shark Tank, they rebranded themselves as Cheekd. They also launched a mobile app—one that makes use of Bluetooth—to replace the old cards that they were using before.

The company has completely swapped their business card approach for a mobile app, which is available for iOS devices

How does it work? It’ll automatically send you a notification if you’re within 30 feet of someone who meets your criteria and because it uses Bluetooth technology, you’ll “never miss a connection”, whether you’re on a train or a plane. And once a real-time link has been established between the two parties, you’ll be able to continue to conversation on the app.

The company has run into some bumps, however. In 2017, a man named Alfred Pirri sued them for patent infringement. According to the lawsuit, Cheekd had plagiarized an idea that he had created back in 2006 (one that he had never put into action).

Cheekd denied the allegation and called the man “crazy” on social media. This led Pirri to file a second lawsuit against the former architect—this time for defamation as she’s allegedly trying to destroy his reputation online; he sought out $4 million in damages. Cheekd defended by saying that Pirri had been in a mental facility before.

The case was eventually dismissed in the spring of 2021. As far as we can tell, Pirri was ordered to pay Lori’s attorney fees. Aside from that, it’s unknown whether or not they reached a settlement.

Cheekd is different from other dating apps in that it uses Bluetooth to connect you with potential matches

As of 2022, however, the company is still in business and they’ve completely swapped the business card approach for a website and mobile app, the latter of which is available on the App Store. Will they be releasing a Cheekd app for Android devices? There haven’t been any announcements but we wouldn’t be surprised if one was in the works. In any case, business seems to be going well as the company is reportedly worth $3 million in 2022.

For those who are interested in learning more about the app, you can visit their website here. You can also follow Cheekd on social media. They have a Twitter account (@cheekd) as well as a Facebook page, though the latter hasn’t been updated in a while.

Steven Kahn
King of the Bears, Shark Tank enthusiast, failed network engineer, sour cream enthusiast, Nanchaku instructor, Techman, Mega Man X fan, vaporizing know-how
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2 COMMENTS

  1. “I could not find any exact numbers on how well Cheek’d is doing, but for Lori Cheek to find a CTO and still manage to keep paying the bills for the website, Cheek’d is going nowhere soon.”

    That seems like a contradiction…

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