Flirtomatic: Selling digital ice cubes and other online bling for real dollars

Mark Curtis has come to America to sell digital icecubes on hot summer days. The CEO of Flirtomatic -- a mobile flirting social-network startup -- has attracted $15 million in revenue by selling flirting and virtual goods, like digital ice cubes, to an audience starved for fun with no strings attached. "You can't really call it a dating service, because very few of our users ever meet in person," Curtis says. "We're more like a social network for fun."

Curtis launched Flirtomatic four years ago as an online venture aimed at capturing a small slice of the fast-growing digital dating market. After failing to get Web traction, Curtis found success with a mobile focus. On September 23, he upped the ante by hiring two executives to run Flirtomatic's U.S. operation, including Gary Cohen, a former senior exec with AT&T Wireless (T), who was appointed Flirtomatic's VP of North America. Flirtomatic says it is about to announce a big deal with a U.S. carrier, and Cohen's hire suggests that AT&T is the likely carrier, which would be a huge win for Curtis. (Flirtomatic did not confirm the identity of its wireless partner.)