But she found numerous angel investors — including five of her professors at Stanford — eager to invest.
IDG Ventures gave her the first check in June followed by Sherpa Ventures and others.
She has a computer science background and was offered a product management role at Facebook, but she opted to launch a startup instead.
Bradford is using her millions to grow her team of four and to hire engineers.
She prefers the word "curated," the same way Ivy League schools and top employers select only the best candidates.
Lawyers, doctors, and tech executives frequent the app.
Many of the beta users have never signed up for a dating service before.
Or if they were on Tinder, they weren't pleased with the experience.
"We want people to think of The League as a little more grown up and tasteful, for young professionals who want to go out for a coffee or a drink and aren't just about hooking up," Bradford says. Work and school are the top places where 20-somethings meet each other.