With 40% of marriages in this country ending in divorce, Avy figures the statistics are on his side. The first funds will be given out to the first participants in the middle of this month and in a few years the profits should start rolling in when the first marriages start to break up, then continue rolling in like a river as all the subsequent marriages break up.
According to Mr. Avy , which applicants are chosen to receive wedding money, how much they'll receive and how much interest will be charged is determined statically. He says , "We leverage online data and algorithm software technology to quickly assess applicant risk to determine funding offers". SwanLuv has not, however, shared how many couples have applied for wedding money so far or how many will be receiving money when the first funds are distributed 10 days, 13 hours, 27 minutes and 50 seconds from the time this sentence was written. (The swanluv.com website displays a count-down clock to the launch moment).
Though it's not exactly clear how the initial funds are being raised prior to the divorce funds of the future. Mr. Avy mentions investors and advertising.
But if the SwanLuv model takes off - and if it does it's pretty likely that other similar marriage gambling companies will soon be springing up - and becomes a popular option, one can't help but wonder if the existence of this sort of option might not cause a kind of weird dynamic between couples planning their wedding. For example, if a couple doesn't want to sign up, might it not seem that they doubt that their marriage will last? Or, as Scott Avy verbalized the question they might ask themselves: “Should we be getting married if we’re not willing to sign up?”
And what about those couples who do sign up for SwanLuv and who are chosen to receive money? They'll always have hanging over their marriage the knowledge that they only received their SwanLuv money because they fall into the category of those who are statistically likely to fail as a couple. Might not that knowledge cause some anxiety and stress later down the road when they face the difficult times that no married couple is immune to? Might not the prediction made by the SwanLuv prognosticators turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Still, Scott Avy puts a sort of optimistic/altruistic philosophical spin on his venture. The money that comes in from the divorces will fund new marriages, he says, thus those whose marriages fail should take comfort from knowing that the money they must pay back will make possible a beautiful wedding for two other people who may end up living happily ever after. Along the lines, I suppose, of the seeds that fall to the earth from dead flowers making possible beautiful new flowers. Avy makes it clear, though, that if a marriage breaks up over abuse, the abuser alone will be held responsible for repayment of the wedding money plus interest.
Avy also hopes to be able to make enough money from the interest to eventually pay for free marriage counseling to help couples stay together.
Even the name of the company,
In fact when you think about it, it probably would have been more ingenuous on the founder’s part to name his company DuckLuv.
1. "This startup will pay for your dream wedding — but only if you’re willing to bet you won’t get divorced"' by Jacob Demmitt, Geek Wire, December 10, 2015
2. "This startup bets up to $10,000 that your marriage will end badly",
By Danielle Paquette, The Washington Post, December 16, 2015