It is now worth more than £2bn globally and £150m in the UK.
Two women dropped out because they’d found themselves in relationships since they purchased tickets. The assembled crowd, mostly Caucasians in their early 20s through to early 60s from around the Bay Area, mingled over appetizers in the Space Lounge, an area separate from the restaurant.(A word on the food: mostly fried and fatty, with salsa laden with raw onion.Nothing like it exists.” The company has grown rapidly in recent years, with offices opening across Europe and in Australia, and plans to open in Hong Kong, New York and LA early next year.As you would expect, joining such exclusive clientele comes at a price, with UK membership starting at around £10,000, growing to £15,000 for Europe-wide and £25,000 for global coverage.You can’t search by DNA, you can’t create the perfect human – but for £60k, some people think that I can!” You might assume that the kind of people that use a service like Berkeley are mainly middle aged and older, but Molloy says that some of her young clients’ parents pay for them.In the name of research both professional and personal, this writer did check out some speed dating tips in advance. (Professional hazard alert.) Off-limit subjects on one list (work, politics, religion) were given the green light on another.But, no worries, if these topics were even broached they were dispensed with quickly.In short: Overwhelmingly unimpressive and not particularly dating-friendly. Some folks eyes lit up at the end of the evening when vegan cupcakes came out, others begged off saying they avoid sugar or that the treats were too sweet.) But folks weren’t there for the food.If you’re unfamiliar with speed dating, here’s how last night’s worked: people wore name tags and were given a sign-up sheet.“If you pay a lot of money you expect a return at the end of it.People have no tolerance of bad service anymore.” Despite the allure of a new client’s cash, Molloy says there are some people that they have to turn away. “I have to try and tell people, without making them feel like zombies, that you can’t buy love.