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New Austin-based dating app lets the stars decide your soulmate

A new app is pairing Austinites together based on their astrological compatibility. (Pexels file photo)

If you turn to astrology to guide your love life, you're not alone. About 45% of people who are looking for their soul connection consider astrological signs when swiping and a new Austin-based app is making it even easier.

Ilios, an Austin-based relationship-building app, lets the stars guide you to your soulmate by filtering out those most compatible to you based on astrology. CEO Melanie Davidson told Austonia they're looking to turn the surface-level world of dating on its head and give Austinites a connection that is more modern.

ilios is a niche dating app that hopes to give Austinites a deeper connection. (ilios)

One of the app's most famous profile-holders, former American Idol and The Bachelor contestant Trevor Holmes, has signed on as the Chief Influencer Officer for the app. As the reportedly most-swiped person on Bumble and a swoon-worthy reality TV contestant, Holmes, in his vast dating experience, has said that the first question he gets asked on dates is "What's your sign?"

"We are trying to make it more equitable across gender lines," Davidson said.

The app has a real-life story: When ilios's founder, an Austin man who Davidson said is choosing to remain anonymous, recently went through a divorce, he took to dating apps like Tinder and Bumble to get back out there. Although many of the profiles mention astrological signs, it didn't take into account star sign compatibility the way he wanted it to.

Ilios uses the traditional swipe left and right method on profiles, but what sets it apart is the prominent display of Western (the astrological signs used to read horoscopes, e.g. Aries), Eastern (the Chinese zodiac, e.g. year of the ox) and Vedic (the Hindu reading of stars) astrology signs. Those on the app can swipe based on a compatibility score that focuses on signs and lifestyle choices—think politics, religion, family aspirations—from zero-100.

Your Western and Eastern Zodiac are the main factors on the app. (ilios)

"It's really helping surface compatibility and then sort of taking dating to the next evolution," Davidson said. "We're staying modern about how people identify and things of that nature. I love that aspect of it."

On ilios, the days of having to surrender your phone to your friends for them to scroll through your matches are over. The app has a matchmaker function, which is a friend's account that connects to your own, allowing those closest to you to swipe on your behalf and recommend matches.

"I always seek my friends' help and advice and the only way I can do that today is if I relinquish my phone entirely," Davidson said. "It's another fun way for people to engage. You don't have to be single to be utilizing the app, you can certainly do it on behalf of a friend."

And you can use the app to find friends if that's your prerogative by adjusting your settings to "social connection." Austin is currently the only city with full ilios capabilities, so locals can be the first to join the few thousand who are already swiping. Ilios has plans to expand to Denver, New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago in the near future.

"We specifically chose Austin to launch our app because it's the perfect city for it," Davidson said. "Austinites, in our experience, are super fun and open to new and different ideas, experiences and ways of thinking. We think any Austinites looking for a match beyond the superficial swipe will love ilios."

Though the app is currently available in the app store, it will be officially launched at 6 p.m. on Friday at EastSide Tavern. The event will be open to the public, with three former Bachelor contestants attending, and only requires you to show your profile to attend.

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