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Zoe Desmond attracts €500k for dating app for single parents


Zoe Desmond's dating app launches in the UK and Ireland in January

Zoe Desmond's dating app launches in the UK and Ireland in January

Brown Thomas on Grafton Street. Photo: Arthur Carron

Brown Thomas on Grafton Street. Photo: Arthur Carron


Zoe Desmond's dating app launches in the UK and Ireland in January

Signs are that Zoe Desmond may turn out to be a chip off the old block. The entrepreneur, daughter of billionaire financier Dermot Desmond, has just raised £500,000 (€588,000) to launch a dating app for single parents.

Venture capital firms led the investment round to finance the next stage of the business, which Desmond junior started two years ago as a community for single parents. Ada Ventures led the investment round, with the round closed in recent weeks by Yes VC, which is co-led by Caterina Fake, who co-founded the Flickr photo-sharing app.

Frolo (a portmanteau of the words ‘friend’ and ‘solo’) began life as a community of single parents which London-based Desmond set up when she found herself single with a young son after a relationship breakdown.

Frolo Community recently won Social Media App of the Year in the UK App Awards. During the isolation of the pandemic, the Frolo Community app grew by 700pc, with 70pc of the community telling Frolo that they would welcome a dating app for single parents.

The subscription-based Frolo dating app will have a full launch in Ireland and the UK in mid-January. 

Cabin crew deal to break deadlock – for now

Cabin crew at Aer Lingus were last week voting on a Workplace Relations Commission proposal that is expected to break the deadlock over structural change at the airline’s inflight services division.
After a prolonged period on 60pc pay – and for quite some time even less than that – the agreement will see crew returned to 100pc pay. In return, staff must accept a pay freeze until 2024 and – more controversially – commissions from onboard duty free sales will be reduced. Ergo understands that although the proposal had been recommended for acceptance by trade union Fórsa, there was still much disgruntlement in the ranks after two long, hard years.
But, sadly, the recent Omicron panic and the new travel restrictions it has led to, shows that in the airline business all bets are off.

Brown Thomas/Arnotts hires new finance director

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Selfridges Group-owned Brown Thomas and Arnotts.

Not only is its parent company reportedly on the cusp of being sold to a Thai group for £4bn (€4.7bn), it has also been busy hiring a new finance director.

Ergo has spotted that Brown Thomas/Arnotts has recruited Claire Priestley for the role.

Priestley is an experienced finance director and well versed in the world of retail. She previously worked with Marks & Spencer Ireland as finance director, and worked with Arnotts before that.

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