A new dating website which gives users a chance to virtually safeguard themselves from bad dates has been created in the West Midlands.
Midland businessman Jay Sumra believes he has created a world first with his new site aiming to tap into the multi million pound dating industry.
He has gone live with www.plzsayyes.com, an online dating service that allows users to go on a virtual date using the ‘Secondlife’ web platform, before they meet in person.
Secondlife, which has more than 18 million registered users, allows people to create computer generated versions of themselves online and a whole world has been developed for them to explore and meet people.
Countries have even opened embassies on Secondlife and major companies have bought ‘land’.
Mr Sumra’s idea combines the world of internet dating and Secondlife and he believes it will set his site apart from other dating sites.
He said: “This is a multi-million pound industry and we have already had good feedback about the site and really good interest in it.
“Many dating sites have sprung up over the past decade and they are all targeting different customers and the quality is really broad.
“We have made plzsayyes.com really easy to use but also offer more for your money than simply asking you to put your details in and matching you up.
“The Secondlife element really distinguishes us from everyone else. You can go for a drink at a seaside bar or sit on the beach with dolphins swimming in the ocean for your first date.
“Creating the avatar is really easy but this is about getting to know somebody before you meet in person. Users can send photos to each other and use instant chat via our website before they meet in person.
“Anyone can use it and that really sets us apart from other dating sites out there.”
Users will be charged £14.99 for a year’s membership to plzsayyes.com with £1 of that going to Help for Heroes.
Mr Sumra, from Coventry, said there will also be a ‘single of the year’ competition that will see a female member of the site win a £5,000 prize.
Tracy Benbow, a business coach at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, has been giving the business start-up advice and assistance under the Enterprising Coventry programme.
She said: “The internet has created business opportunities that simply were not around a decade ago.
“This is a new take on dating websites, which have grown exponentially in the past few years.
“We wish Jay every success with the business and it is a great example of the creativity in Coventry when it comes to new technology.”
The online dating industry is estimated to be worth more than £1.1 billion a year.