Cheekd is a dating and social networking website based in New York City. It was founded in 2010 by Lori Cheek. The concept is to expand subscribers' dating opportunities beyond the pool of people registered with an online dating service, to the real world too.
The service debuted with the name "Cheek'd". Founder Lori Cheek is a former architect. She appeared on the television program, Shark Tank in February 2014, but did not succeed in obtaining funding from any of the five entrepreneur/investors to whom she pitched Cheek'd to on the show. She said that she only had 1000 subscribers to her service at that time.
Business card model
Cheek'd offered two user plans, paid and free. For $25, subscribers got a set of 50 business cards that could be given out once someone caught their eye. Each card had a phrase, an online code, and a URL to the subscriber's account at the website. Recipients of the cards could then look up the profile of the user with the information provided on the card. In addition to the one-time cost of the cards, there was a $9.95 monthly membership fee.
If users chose the free plan, they did not pay a monthly subscription fee nor did they buy business cards. Instead, they would download the Cheekd app for free, and hand out virtual cards to any appealing strangers that were nearby.
In 2015, the service's name changed from the original "Cheek'd" to "Cheekd". It was redesigned to relieve the awkwardness of approaching strangers. The new Cheekd app uses Bluetooth technology to send alerts to users whenever a compatible Cheekd user is within a 30-foot radius, instead of using business cards.
The original business card-based model for Cheekd had been claimed as a patented process by Lori Cheek, as US Patent 8543465. It was described as “Online Dating in Reverse”. In September 2017, a complaint was filed, alleging that the idea was not original to Lori Cheek.
Cheek responded, stating that the complaint was baseless, and a complete fabrication. The lawsuit Pirri v. Cheek was dismissed in a pre-trial conference in New York's Federal Court on April 5, 2018.
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