Val Brennan created a dating site, to help people make romantic connections. Will the sharks fall in love with her business, and make her a deal on
Shark Tank Three Day Rule Update
- Entrepreneur: Val Brennan
- Business: Curate online dating community
- Ask: $200,000 for 10% equity
- Result: No deal
- Shark: None
Val was a busy, and painfully single, lawyer when she came up with the idea for Three Day Rule. She felt going out to bars rarely resulted in meeting someone new and exciting, while the big names in the online dating community were ridden with inactive profiles and matches who she would never date. Val created Three Day Rule as a private dating club, as each member is required to apply prior to being accepted in. From there, the site matches singles using a comprehensive algorithm.
Kevin O’Leary opened by asking if he should conclude that, based on the company’s name Three Day Rule, that he, if he were a member, might expect to receive “a little something” after three dates. He beat around the bush with terminology, allowing a gleeful Robert Herjavec to shout out, “Action!”
Mark Cuban agreed with Kevin and Robert, leading Val to provide an explanation. Val explained that Three Day Rule took its name from a popular social practice of waiting three days before calling a date as to not appear too desperate or eager to go on another date.
Kevin wanted to make sure Val was aware of the “three date rule” as well though, and she laughed. Daymond John asked if Kevin could perhaps explain it, just in case. Kevin began, saying, “The three date rule is an investment portfolio strategy.” Daymond added that, on the third date, you “consummate the deal.”
Daymond asked what Val’s target demographic was, assuming “busy, wealthy people.” Val said they look for a number of criteria, including those making more than $50,000 annually. Barbara Corcoran asked if members making less were welcome. Val said everyone was welcome, but her site was predominantly marketing to those making more than that.
Val continued, stating the key differentiator for her site was that it required a quiz and application prior to allowing members to join. Robert raised a concern that, although hard to believe, some men lie. Val answered by saying Three Day Rule does validate member responses, but for an added fee.
Mark took this to mean that, unless you pay a premium, you’re stuck dating liars. Meanwhile, Daymond felt insulted that Robert singled out the men as liars. Can’t women lie too? Robert said he felt women were more honest in dating, but Daymond felt the opposite. According to Daymond, “fake nails, fake eyelashes, fake lips, and fake hair” are all empirical evidence to his point.
Barbara asked how many members were signed up on Three Day Rule. Val said they currently had 10,000 applicants. Barbara asked if these people had paid the subscription fee, but Val said that they were currently “pre-revenue.” Kevin pointed out immediately that “pre-revenue” is just a word for “no sales.”
Val said they had only launched four weeks prior and were doing their best to secure a user base before implementing a paywall. Barbara felt that this negated any proof of concept, as everyone is open to joining when it’s free.
Val said she felt confident Three Day Rule would succeed because she had an “offline version,” a matchmaking company, before creating the site. Her company would host events and have activities to encourage singles to get together and mingle. The business remained operational, and Three Day Rule would serve as an extension to that.
Barbara asked the price of membership, and Val told her it was $100 per month. Kevin felt this was excessive. Robert said there was no proof anyone would pay the $100 a month, but Val said this was the price of her in-person dating service.
Barbara asked how many members she had for her original business, and Val said there were approximately 10,000 members to that as well. Barbara asked how much revenue that business was collecting, and Val said it was $70,000 last year.
Daymond then confirmed Val was single and said that maybe her product isn’t so effective if it hadn’t worked for her. Robert said that maybe it’s because Val’s too picky, but Val said it was simply because she had been so busy working that dating took a backseat.
The sharks continued asking about Val’s dating status, but Val assured them that “her partner” was an “expert matchmaker” and she had full confidence in her. Mark tried to pump the brakes, but Robert pushed on to learn more about the payment scale.
Robert asked how many people were paying the $100 per month fee. Val instead answered that they were being charged $1,000 for three dates. Daymond and Kevin were outraged at the price. Robert asked how long that model was Val’s business model, and she said one year. This led Robert to accurately conclude that, by charging $1,000 for a 3-date package, Val had essentially sold seventy total packages. Val confirmed this, but reminded him that they held events, each of which collected a transaction fee and ticket sale as well.
Barbara’s head was spinning by this point, and she called the logistics “complicated.” She asked if Val made money on the events too, and Val said that they did. Daymond jumped in here to ask what made Three Day Rule so different from other sites, and Val reiterated that their screening process was the differentiator.
Mark challenged Val, asking her what she thought might happen if Three Day Rule started gaining traction. How fast would her competitors start screening as well to retain a competitive edge? Val disagreed, claiming those sites were purely about volume, but Mark and Robert felt she was wrong.
With so much ground covered during the pitch so far, Kevin made sure Val understood that he only needed to know how Three Day Rule planned to make money. Val talked more about the subscription price and options, including a one month, three month, six month, and year membership options.
By her estimation, the average user would stay a member between three and six months, resulting in $300 to $600 in revenue per customer. It would then take 20,000 users across twenty major cities to gross $20 million. Kevin didn’t find this estimate valuable, as it was purely hypothetical. Robert pointed out that Val was constantly providing “perfect answers,” but they were all theoretical.
Meanwhile, Mark revealed that he was looking for a way to say yes because, if the screening truly worked, Three Day Rule was a clear “home run.” However, Val had no evidence to support this yet. He said he’d give her one last chance to prove her model worked.
Val reiterated her points regarding the application and screening process and how it nurtured an exclusive environment where people knew they were receiving something more than other dating sites. Mark did not feel the answer was strong enough to provide the proof he needed and, for that reason, he was out.
Kevin, on the other hand, did not feel Three Day Rule would ever “dominate the dating business.” He felt the big competitors would crush Val in time. For that reason, Kevin was out.
Daymond began his spiel with the valuation, asking Val if she was aware her $200,000 for 10% equity equated to a $2 million valuation. Val explained that other investors had already come aboard at a $4 million valuation. Mark asked how much she raised with that valuation, and Val alleged they had $150,000.
Daymond continued with an expression, “Never trust a skinny chef.” By that token, he decided that “never trust a single matchmaker” was appropriate and, for that reason, he was out.
Robert started telling Val that it’s been an interesting journey and that she was very pleasant. Suddenly, she said she felt like she was “on a date right now,” seeming to make Robert blush. Unfortunately, Robert felt Three Day Rule was “just another dating site” and that Val’s explanations were insufficient in explaining what really set them apart. For that reason, he was out.
Barbara told Val she was not convincing at all, and that the name was not good either. She too interpreted Three Day Rule as “three date rule.” For these reasons, she was out and the pitch concluded.
Without a shark to help the business scale, did Val find a way to make her business succeed anyway? Is she still single? Keep reading our Three Day Rule update to find out!
We have great news to share in our Three Day Rule update! As it would turn out, the company did continue to enjoy growth, and eventually garnered interest from major industry player Match.com. Match.com provided the algorithm to supercharge their matchmaking process, allowing Three Day Rule to offer a free membership option in addition to Val’s pricey premium subscription. As of 2023, Three Day Rule remains in business, with an estimated annual revenue in the millions.
Would you like to learn about the other companies and products featured in Season 4 Episode 26? Follow the links below!
For even more on companies and products, be sure to stop by our Season 4 Products Page!
Andrew Smith is the founder and owner of Shark Tank Recap. He is a longtime Shark Tank fan that has been watching it for years and has seen every episode multiple times. His friends know him as the Shark Tank expert, because he can answer any question about the show! His favorite Shark Tank products are Bertello's pizza oven and Bug Bite Thing!