Simultaneously, Lo’s friends were becoming exhausted by dating apps because the apps felt like working at another job with endless potential matches. Following a conversation about synastry, the examination of astrological compatibility, Lo wondered why there wasn’t an app that showed comparable matches based on birth charts.
“I wanted to try to create an app that was more beneficial to people’s well-being and psychological, mental health,” Lo said. “The goals of an app like Tinder are not aligned with the goals of their user.”
She said dating apps seem designed to keep users on the app as long as possible. “What that means is that the product hasn’t been designed to foster good, long-term relationships,” Lo said. “So in a weird way, if you think about it, if they really did make it good for meeting people and creating long-term relationships, nobody would be on Tinder, right? Or they’d be on Tinder for a very short period of time, and then they’d never come back.”
Lo recruited former Glossier designer turned full-time astrologer Jane as an adviser. Jane is known by 285,000 Instagram followers for her aesthetically pleasing posts, spotlighting the work of talented and unknown photographers overlaid with digestible monthly mantras for every zodiac sign.
Millennials Lo and Jane have similar birth charts, sun in Aquarius and Virgo rising. To generate matches based on users’ birth charts, Lo and her small team created a complicated algorithm based on Western astrology and synastry. To generate compatible matches, the formula compares and contrasts every planet and every combination.
Jane had an instrumental and collaborative role in the algorithm, providing her perspective on compatibility in astrology. Since its launch and growth, Jane has served as “an astrology sounding board.”
To get started on Struck, users create their profiles, similar to other dating apps and must enter their birth information, so Struck can generate a birth chart to help find suitable matches. While signing up, users choose a list of personality traits, uniquely populated off their birth chart, and life priorities, such as family, arts and culture, socializing and partying.
“Life priorities was something I felt was really missing in the dating app world,” Lo said. “And it’s super critically important when dating someone to just know where their priorities lie in life.”
On Struck, users receive four possible matches that meet their dating criteria, age range, location, gender and sexual orientation. The app feels very queer empowering, with an option for users to choose to have their profile hidden from straight people.
Lo said ”astrology has been made into what it is in modern day culture by BIPOC (Black, indigenous and people of color) and queer communities.”