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A cash-strapped student has revealed how she’s raking in more than ,000 per year by going on dinner dates with strangers to save for her first home.Rose Clifford, 19, signed up to a dating site to help fund her student lifestyle — where her date for the evening not only pays the restaurant bill, but also for her company.After a controversial transition to a for-profit model in 2011, which brought million in funding in the past two years, growing pains have set in.In October, layoffs claimed an estimated 40 percent of the staff, and CEO Tony Espinoza announced his departure — giving an opening to competitors like Be Welcome and Hospitality Club.“We went out for drinks the first night,” he says, “and I hit on her. She, was like ‘No, no, no—I don’t want to make it awkward.’ I was like well, whatever, so we kept on drinking, dancing, and having fun.” Riccardo later learned he’d made a critical error.Experienced couchsurfing casanovas know to hold off on making a move until later.In eight months using the service, Riccardo, who is 32 and works for an ad agency, has let eight visitors crash at his apartment, of whom he’s hooked up with five, for a 62 percent “success rate.” If you count the additional two who climbed into bed with him for a cuddle and then fell asleep, the percentage climbs even higher.
As well as cash gifts from men, Clifford has an impressive collection of designer items including a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes that cost a whopping ,325.
In an email interview, the site’s interim CEO Jen Billock told Business Insider that “members are ...
“All of my friends, they love these stories,” Riccardo tells Business Insider over beers in a quiet bar in Midtown Manhattan. I’m like, ‘You know, whatever, we went out, had sex...’ They’re like, ‘No, no, no—tell me when she got there, where you went, did you kiss her, every single detail.’” We had the same questions.
“My first Couchsurfing hookup happened when I was staying with my friend in Miami,” Riccardo recalls. Months later Riccardo got a phone call from the same girl, asking if she could stay at his place in New York City. “I never talked to her again,” he admits, adding, “I mean, we’re friends on Facebook.” Couchsurfing was born after a budget-conscious traveler named Casey Fenton sent out a mass request for accommodations in Iceland and received 50 invitations from students with a free spare futon.