Flirting With Global Success: Dresden’s LOVOO to Open Berlin Office

By David Knight |

Strange as it may seem to many living outside of Germany, the country’s startup scene is not just concentrated in Berlin. In fact, many other cities have thriving entrepreneurial communities – but that doesn’t diminish the draw of the capital. Now Dresden-based LOVOO, which describes itself as “Germany’s most successful flirt app,”, is opening a ‘creative office’ in Berlin.

The new office will be located in the Backfabrik, rubbing shoulders with startup staples like wooga, DailyDeal and adeven.

The team behind LOVOO actually seem quite proud of the fact they have grown to 7.3 million members worldwide from the relative startup backwater of Dresden, a beautifully-restored city located a couple of hours’ autobahn travel to the south of its more glamorous bigger brother. But there is also the realisation that, at some point in a company’s development, Berlin is a must.

“Anyone from Germany wanting to play on the international stage must go to Berlin,” said LOVOO CEO and co-founder Benjamin Bak. He said the new team in the capital would be aimed at tracking “global mobile culture” and trends, and putting ideas into action quickly. He added: “For that, the Backfabrik is the perfect place.”

He is not wrong there – the former mass bakery just down the road from Alexanderplatz is a hub for emerging companies, with wooga’s Google-esque office a standout. It’s also adjacent to the city’s Soho House, a favourite of the startup set’s well-to-do.

It will act as the focal point of LOVOO’s efforts to go global. After Germany’s 4.252 million users, the highest number is 428,000 from the US, 414,000 from Austria and 390,000 from the UK, where the app was launched last July. France and Spain have also each seen user numbers above 200,000 just two months after launch.

LOVOO was founded three years ago to apply the principle of location-based platforms like Yelp to flirting. The centrepiece of the free app is the live radar which detects other users with a hundred metre radius.

The success it has seen so far is further proof that Germany as a whole is fostering innovation and new businesses better than its neighbours elsewhere in Europe, particularly Western Europe, and that Berlin can function effectively as a ‘next step’ for fast-growing young companies.

If only it could build an airport properly…