Penn student launches personalized matchmaking service as alternative to dating apps

The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Annie Xu, a dual-degree MBA/MSW student, founded Pairfect, an online matchmaking service.
Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

Annie Xu, a third-year student in MBA and MSW programs at Penn, launched Pairfect in 2022 as a matchmaking service and alternative to dating apps.

Pairfect users first complete a questionnaire to create a profile, then schedule a video call with a member of a team of matchmakers — all of whom have backgrounds in social work, clinical psychology, or family and couples therapy — to better grasp the user’s personality. The user is then provided with potential matches. 

Pairfect also partners with and promotes local businesses in Philadelphia who in turn provide discounts to its users for their goods and services.

The app was initially piloted among Penn graduate students upon its launch.

Xu told The Daily Pennsylvanian that she was motivated to launch Pairfect upon hearing the frustrations of her friends living in Philadelphia upon using dating apps, and wanted to create a more personalized solution. She also said that she appreciates the financial support, mentorship and guidance she received from the Venture Lab at Penn.

First-year Wharton MBA student and Pairfect’s Chief of Staff Chloe Ahle’s responsibilities entail expanding Pairfect’s market beyond graduate students in Philadelphia into working professionals in Philadelphia and in the greater Northeast Region. She said that she resonates with Pairfect’s mission of fostering meaningful relationships and connecting others in a demographic that typically avoids dating apps.

“I’m starting to see that there’s a shift of people being open and willing to talk about dating in the modern context of potentially meeting someone online,” she said. 

Ahle emphasized that every Pairfect user has the opportunity to meet with a professional with a background in counseling, differentiating it from other apps that use gamification through swiping. 

Xu said that she is motivated by the desire to help individuals get into longer-term relationships through her work.

“I can think of couples whose paths would not have crossed if it weren’t for this service,” Xu said. 

First appeared on

Leave a Comment