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As traditional dating sites stagnate, investors appear to be sensing an opportunity in social dating startups. European venture fund 360 Capital Partners is investing $2.2 million in SmartDate.com, a social dating site which launched just three months ago. The site integrates with Facebook Connect so that users can link up with single friends of their Facebook friends. The basic service is free, although Smartdate charges for premium memberships, which include higher placement for profiles and unlimited contacts.
Smartdate was founded by Fabrice Le Parc who led the launch of dating site be2 in France and Benelux several years ago.
Another social dating startup, Zoosk, has seen big adoption of its service, which works via apps on social networking sites, like Facebook and MySpace (NYSE: NWS). The company claims 50 million global members. It raised a $30 million funding round in December.