The Scoop: Proximeety is a dating site that connects French singles around the world. Like-minded singles who live near each other can find each other more easily in this French-dominant landscape. What’s more, the platform has niche dating sites for older adults and LGBTQ users. Proximeety is free to everyone and — with over 15 years in operation — has clearly withstood the test of time.

French is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world, after Chinese, English, Spanish, and Arabic. More than 300 million people speak French, and only one-third of French speakers live in the European Union. The other two-thirds live in Francophone countries in Africa and North America. 

With so many French speakers internationally, it’s only logical that a dating site would cater to them. Proximeety connects French speakers and fosters conversations in the “language of love.” 

Since Proximeety was founded in 2005, the dating website has attracted more than 3 million users. Within the larger platform, there are individual sites for French speakers in Brazil, India, Greece, Spain, and the UK. One platform also connects African singles. 

Screenshot of Proximeety
Proximeety is a niche site where French speakers congregate.

Proximeety has rapidly become one of the most popular dating sites for French speakers in Africa. This version of Proximeety faced some difficulties with adoption and connectivity at the beginning, particularly in rural areas. However, as Internet usage expands worldwide, more users have flocked to Proximeety Afrique. 

Proximeety also has websites geared toward specific demographics of French speakers, including gay singles, lesbian singles, and older adults. 

Certainly, Proximeety was a novelty when it was first introduced more than 15 years ago. 

Stephen Tondusson co-founded the platform with a friend during the early 2000s when online dating was sparsely used by the general population. Proximeety was there at the beginning and saw how swiping has changed modern relationships.

Proximeety discovered that more than 70% of interviewees believed they could have significant relationships or marry the people they met online. What’s more, 75% said it was just as easy for them to chat with an online single than a stranger they’d met at a bar or restaurant. 

Helping Singles Build Relationships 

Around 45% of Proximeety users are from France. The world perceives France as the ultimate romantic destination, but it can be difficult to meet a French person in real life. That’s the problem Proximeety aims to solve.

Most Proximeety users either speak French as a first language or are proficient enough in the language to understand the website and connect with potential love interests.

Proximeety is a straightforward, easy-to-use dating platform. To join, users only have to create a profile and password by adding up to five pictures, describing themselves, and discussing what they’re looking for in a partner. 

Screenshot of Proximeety for seniors
Senior singles can find a compatible partner by using advanced filters.

Once the profile is complete, users can start searching for other users. The search engine function lets singles look for matches by age, country, and city. Proximeety users can also filter out profiles that don’t have pictures. If they’re interested in a real-time chat, they can filter out inactive users and view active users who are currently browsing the site. 

The Proximeety team prioritizes security and makes sure users are authentic singles. The moderators scan for and remove fake profiles and stock photos. 

“All our members are real people. Every photo is checked manually. Every text description is read by a moderator to be validated,” said Stephen.

Users have control over their inbox as well. If they encounter harassment or a potential scam, they can add the unsavory person to the Black List, which means they will be unable to view the person’s profile or send messages.

The Platform Welcomes a Diverse Range of Users 

Proximeety has collected user testimonials from singles of all ages. Some say they have made a friend out of a French pen pal, and others write about falling in love and getting engaged or married.

One woman writes (translated from French), “It was nice and very correct. I am starting a relationship with a man who is lovely and in my age range as desired. Thank you for that, I am stepping back as he did to give us a chance based on respect and integrity. ”

Another Proximeety user says, “Very happy with this site, I have a contact with whom everything is going well and we decided to go further. Thank you very much after only three weeks of registration. Good continuation to the site.”

Screenshot of Proximeety's LGBTQ page
Proximeety facilitates gay and lesbian dates as well.

Lesbian and gay singles have also been able to find each other on Proximeety sites. LGBTQ+ dating tools have been built into the design.

“We wanted to inform you that thanks to your site, a couple got together and married on December 12, 2015,” according to a lesbian success story. “Many thanks (to and best wishes to all the local team.” 

“I’m no longer looking for anything on Proximeety. That’s why I wouldn’t come here anymore,” a person said upon ending the membership. “I found serious love that I think is lasting, even very lasting. Thank you, Proximeety, and bye bye girls!”

Singles on the African side of Proximeety appreciate how many singles they can interact with on the platform. 

“I met, JPaul the love of my life, everything is going wonderfully. Basically, we’re crazy for each other. I love him just as he loves me wholeheartedly. Thank you to all your team, courage and patience to the other members,” one user wrote in the African testimonials

Proximeety: Growing a Large User Base 

At the moment, Proximeety has plans to grow its brand and expand its user base. One of the site’s most significant projects is modernizing the platform and making it more functional on phones and tablets. 

No matter how large it gets, the team said Proximeety will always remain free for users. So far, the dating site has been able to stay free by relying on advertising to generate revenue. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult to run the dating site this way, but Stephen said he’s committed to weathering the hard times.

“Recently, due to the COVID hysteria, the advertising price dropped, so now we have to send more emails to different contacts in order to maintain our turnover (tens of thousands of mails every day),” Stephen explained. “Until now, we hold, and I think the next year could be better for us. We corrected the trajectory.”

While Proximeety is on firmer ground now, the team is looking for investors to help the dating site expand in the global market.

According to the company’s investment pitch, “Until now, our business model was based exclusively on display advertising, affiliate programs, and emailing campaigns. These constitute passive incomes. This means that every click pays off and everything happens almost automatically, 24 hours a day, 365 days a week, anywhere in the world. We therefore think this is a scalable model, a potential cash machine with no limit or bottleneck.”

The Proximeety site has already provided an invaluable service to French speakers around the world. When considering how many singles have found each other on the platform, Stephen said he’s satisfied with all the work he’s done at the company.  After all, finding love is what it’s all about.

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