Earlier this year, it was officially revealed that Facebook – most popular social network in India – also happens to be the preferred dating site in emerging countries including India. While it isn’t a surprising fact, this news didn’t stop homegrown startups to venture into the mobile dating space.
Globally online dating is being touted as the next revolution. Analysts state that the $2.1 billion market is going to accelerate over the next five years. Looking at the success of Tinder dating app during the recent FIFA football world cup, one can only think how huge is the market.
In India, dating has been a business that hasn’t picked up due to social issues, instead the match making business is booming. But things are changing for India which is soon to become the youngest country in 2020 and is already the fastest growing smartphone country in Asia.
In 2014 we saw U2opia Mobile – the company known for bringing the joy of social networking to feature phones and to places where internet can’t penetrate – launch Woo – a dating app on Android and iOS. According to the company, Woo is targeting the educated, young, single professionals between the ages of 25-35 years old, for this product. Read the review of Woo Android app.
Thrill, the mobile first dating app which was reviewed at LI earlier underwent a re-boot or pivot. The beta version got a new look similar to the Tinder’s of the world and ticked all the check boxes that a dating app should have. The simple app did the job and also added some interesting features to get more downloads. Read the review of Thrill Android app.
TrulyMadly, another startup boasting its USP as a ‘verified dating app’ has also been active in the market, while being a dating app as well as a matrimonial app. Read the review of TrulyMadly Android app.
With few more players jumping in the market such as Vee, the space is going to see ample amount of traction in 2015. To understand how the mobile dating industry in India will advance, Lighthouse Insights spoke to a few experts (some of them chose not to respond). Listed below are the edited excerpts.
1. Sachin Bhatia, Co-Founder, TrulyMadly
For this generation mobile is an all empowering tool for a lot of our needs. The same is true for making and maintaining relationships. We see the mobile as the go to medium for dating and matchmaking, because it lends itself so well to the entire experience. Be it discovery (sifting through a bunch of matches), engagement (sending a like, messaging and fixing up a date to meet) and interaction (where to meet, what to do etc).
From an Indian context, a critical component of this entire experience are genuine, verified profiles and the safety and security of the data of singles using mobile for dating. This is something core to the TrulyMadly product, with our focus on verified profiles. Besides this we make the whole discovery and engagement process seamless by offering compatibility matching and a robust messaging platform with fun stickers, games and quizzes to drive engagement.
TrulyMadly is looking at one million members by the end of 2015 with an equal ratio of single men to women, on our social discovery apps across Android, iOS and Windows. The dating space promises to be the social discovery space to look out for in India in 2015.
2. Josh Israel, Co-Founder, Thrill
We came here 2 years ago, before anyone had a mobile dating app here, before Tinder took off in the West. What we are seeing now that it has hit a hot streak in the West is that a lot of companies are trying to achieve that here – typical India right? I think they will realize virality is not going to happen here with a mobile dating product. It’s happened once or twice with a mobile dating product globally.
In my opinion, the mobile dating industry in India in the next 2-3 years will be slow but consistent growth through differentiated features for the mass population and growth through niche markets will start to bubble up, just as they did in the West.
Oh and above all else, 2015, #WeTakingOver
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