Charly Lester is one of the world’s leading dating industry experts.  She is a serial entrepreneur, who currently runs a successful marketing consultancy business for dating apps and tech start-ups.

Charly’s launched her first business at the age of 30 –  The Dating Awards – an international set of industry awards for online dating and matchmaking companies. After The Dating Awards, she developed an online learning platform called ‘A League of Her Own’, to encourage more women to start there own businesses.  Most famously, Charly co-founded ‘Lumen‘ – the dating app for over 50s – the fastest growing dating app in the world in 2019. She was profiled in Forbes in 2018.  Charly is currently preparing to launch her fifth business ‘Peaches & Poppies’ – a plus-size active wear brand, inspired by her own struggles to find triathlon-specific clothing which accommodates her curves. 

Charly is the former Dating Editor for the Guardian, and Global Head of Dating for Time Out.  She has appeared on BBC Newsnight representing the online dating industry, and in 2015 she was an expert advisor to Lord Sugar in the final of The Apprentice.  Charly is a regular guest on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

Charly is an Ambassador for charity ‘Survivors Manchester’, which supports male survivors of rape and sexual assault.  She cycled to Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2016 and completed her first IronMan in 2018 in aid of the charity.  Charly is a Community Governor for Kendrick Girls’ School in Reading, and on the advisory board for the Media and Digital Communications Masters Degree at Regent’s University.

In her spare time Charly enjoys Ironman triathlons and played for Team Romania in the Roller Derby World Cup! She recently completed Marathon des Sables – 6 marathons in 5 days across the Sahara Desert.

Marathon des Sables, Sahara Desert, 2019