Most Silicon Valley outsourcing is done out in the open.
You can probably name half a dozen ride-sharing and food delivery services off the top of your head. And even if you scoff at those who use them, you’ve probably heard of companies to outsource laundry pickup, dog walking, clothes shopping and plant buying.
But there’s one service hardly anyone will admit they’re paying for, even as it empties their pockets, shapes the way they dress and perhaps even who they marry: high-end matchmaking. Powered in part by the tech world’s appreciation for avoiding unpleasant tasks or wasting time, plus a regional concentration of wealth and online dating fatigue, elite matchmaking has cemented itself as a small but thriving industry in the Bay Area.
And while the sky-high cost — ranging up to hundreds of thousands of dollars — is prohibitive, clients have to do more than just pay.
“I call it boutique shopping versus department store shopping,” said Greta Tufvesson, a co-founder of matchmaking firm The Bevy. “It’s not for everyone. You have to be accepted into the club.”
Aside from boasting an offshore account or two, that means having good looks, an elite education and usually a sparkling job — plus the right attitude, said matchmaker Amy Andersen, who runs Menlo Park-based Linx Dating.
Spanning a full wall in Andersen’s Menlo Park villa is a whiteboard with people who passed that test, including a venture capitalist, an astrophysicist, a Los Angeles plastic surgeon, an information security adviser, a Google corporate strategy executive and a North Bay architect — complete with notes like “nice sporty Marin dad” and “good hair.”
Andersen started Linx more than 15 years ago, after she grew tired of being a “female player” in San Francisco’s Marina dating scene, wondering why it was so hard for smart people to find the right match. Upon moving to Palo Alto, she married a Stanford economics professor and built up a reputation with a wide roster of wealthy clients — many of them older women who feel the ticking of a biological clock or stereotypical Silicon Valley geeks.
“I’m able to really extract intuitively what they need,” Andersen said, tossing a hand up toward the whiteboard. “That’s based off my experience — the thousands of conversations with clients I’ve had and being able to read people.”
The process itself is simple enough. Andersen is approached by someone, usually a friend of an existing client, and screens them for the essentials. That could lead to an in-person meeting — sometimes lasting for hours on end — before she decides whether to take them on.
Linx Dating founder Amy Andersen keeps an album of mementos from clients who have used her elite matchmaking business. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
Some clients individualize their contracts with bonuses, like paying an extra $150,000 if a match ends in marriage, for example. Others have specific demands about religion, geography, politics or race, all of which can rack up pricing. The Bevy and Three Day Rule, another matchmaking service with Bay Area clients, have …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle