Photos courtesy of Filteroff
Filteroff is a video dating app created by former Westchester resident Zach Schleien that encourages singles to form authentic connections.
Welcome to the new age of dating. No more picking out a spiffy outfit, spraying on your new cologne, and spending money on a swanky dinner. Now, you can quickly determine your compatibility with your match on a video date in the comfort of your home.
CEO and co-founder Zach Schleien is a former Larchmont resident who launched the dating app back in January 2020. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, video chatting for work and nearly every other aspect of life took off, and online dating was no exception. Singles were seeking genuine connections which Filteroff, a video speed-dating concept, could provide.
“We’re not trying to differentiate on features. We’re a different way of online dating,” Schleien explains, adding that on Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, “it can be uncomfortable to ask, ‘Hey do you want to shift to a video chat?’ But on Filteroff it’s expected, and that’s the beauty of it.”
Filteroff raised $2.4 million dollars from Anheuser-Busch’s venture arm ZX Ventures, which invested in the app. The other investors were ex-Google, Tinder, and Airbnb employees. Around the time of that investment is when Schleien quit his day job to focus on Filteroff full-time with his team of five. “I didn’t think I would be able to leave my day job that quickly,” Schleien adds.
He also notes that the pandemic gave the app an unpredicted push, allowing the company to expand and gain users at a faster pace. “Now that the timeline has accelerated, it’s like we’re going to be really big. We’re going to be the number one dating app for human connection,” shares Schleien.
For those looking to create a profile, we’ll tell you how it works. iOS and Android users can create a free Filteroff profile and spend their days swiping through their daily picks. If you match with another profile, you both have five days to set up a video chat or the match disappears. This feature is put in place to prevent users from hoarding matches. The goal is to form a real connection as the app attracts more intentional daters, not somebody seeking swipe validation.
“Having lots of matches doesn’t correlate into having that many first dates. Our goal is to connect people on video and then it’s up to them to take it offline and meet up in person,” explains Schleien.
The video-forward company also hosts weekly in-person events in New York City. It partners with different communities, whether they be a Facebook group or a nonprofit, to assist with the venue, alcohol, and other essentials. The company has thrown yacht parties, themed parties in lounges, and other events with upwards of 300 Filteroff singles in attendance.
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The company hopes to run more in-person events throughout New York, upping them from one to three a week. Schleien also hopes that after growing the app itself, the business can expand into other urban centers, allowing Filteroff to bring more communities together.
“We want to be known as a dating app, a brand, where people actually get matches and meet others,” says Schleien.