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. As part of the Awards Charly ran black-tie events in London, New York and Amsterdam, 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. In October 2021, Charly launched her fifth business – Rebel Badge Book – a series of merit badges specially designed for adults. Charly runs the Rebel Badge Store, and accompanying club, alongside her consultancy and media work.
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 represented Romania in the Roller Derby World Cup in 2016. She has completed the Marathon des Sables (known by many as the ‘hardest foot race on Earth’) – 6 marathons in 5 days across the Sahara Desert, and is always on the look out for her next challenge.