India’s Fastest-growing Dating Website

IN 2008, three young guys in Manhattan started a dating site, a dating web site focused on twenty somethings. To set their dating site apart from many already present, they focused on a unique concept. They enabled members to set up group dates: one member, serving as a point person, could arrange a date — a movie, say, or a picnic in Central Park — with a group of other people and thereby take some of the awkward edge off of typical dates.

Taking advantage from the fact that, most people are somewhat uneasy of a typical date, where a single boy meets a girl or vice versa; complemented by the trio’s effort to get the word out by hosting parties, blitzing college campuses with fliers and doing a big push on Facebook in their native country; the dating site, started getting popular.

But the trio was facing a problem, that was related to the way the people in US were perceiving the site. People just didn’t get right away what the site was when they told them about it. Taking cues from the society people live in, many thought it was a site for orgies (group sex).

After all, Why would people want to meet in groups, to have a great time.

The trio was determined to fight this false perception.

In their struggle to get the record straight, in April 2009, a year since its launch, while checking statistics about visitors to the site, the trio noticed that there was a lot of traffic from Singapore, Malaysia, India and South Korea.

For some time, they couldn’t realize that it’s the metric that needs all the efforts to be channelized to. In one of the founders’ words, they still thought, they have to organize the next party at New York.

But then, by June, they couldn’t ignore the traffic from Asia — specifically India, which by then had more visitors than any other Asian country. The dating site had hundreds of users a day, mainly from new Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai.

And then in January 2010, it became loud and clear to them that : They are an Indian dating site.

At present, with almost two million or 20 lakh users in India — and 7,000 more signing up daily — The site founded thousands of miles ago by non-Indians is considered India’s fastest-growing dating Web site.

What is the name of the Dating site?

India’s fastest-growing dating Web site:

Founded by Kevin Owocki, now 26, Daniel Osit, 29, and Adam Sachs, 28 — ignighter gets as many users in a week in India as it did in a year in the United States. Next month, Ignighter will open an office in India and hire a dozen local employees. The company has stopped developing its American site, though it remains online. Thus the company is all out to better Ignighter as India’s fastest growing dating site.

Some investors have taken notice of Ignighter and its potential in India. This month, the company closed a $3 million round of financing. forty percent of its investors are based in India, including Rajan Anandan, Google’s top executive in India. In the United States, Ignighter is backed by Point Judith Capital, Founder Collective and GSA Venture Partners, among others.

Although the founders, admit that they have accidently revolutionized the dating scene in India; they are quick to underline that even though an Indian dating site wasn’t their original concept, their ability to pivot at a crucial moment, by bending to the market and consumer feedback, paid them dividends. In their words, “You have to be flexible as an entrepreneur and bend to the market and consumer feedback.”

Why Ignighter managed to convey the right message in India and other Asian countries, which it failed in its country of origin:

This is a million dollar question for any entrepreneur, who has to deal with an alien country.

The answer to this has to do with how people in a particular country perceive or interpret a particular concept. In countries like India and those in south East Asia, group dates are seldom perceived as group sex or orgies. They are not even called dates. People call them “gatherings” or “meet-ups”. So when Ignighter said, the site allows users to organise group dates, people get the same message the founders wanted to convey not something else. This contributed positively to the dating site’s popularity.

Another reason, for its popularity in India, is that one-to-one dating is still not very popular, for social stigma and conservative upbringing (people are shy) factors. That’s why, the site increased the probability of a successful date, when it allowed a girl to bring her cousin or friend to the date. That effectively countered the stigma and the shyness angle. --------

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