Our lifestyle is changing. And, like it or not, even dating has gone digital, with increasing success rates across the world. There are hundreds of dating websites in
Kavin Asavanant, 30, never thought about a dating application until his personal life became a roller-coaster and suddenly he found the need for one. He was soon to become the founder and managing director of Noonswoon.
Noonswoon consists of two words; Noon or midday, and swoon, which is the feeling of butterflies you feel when you've met someone special.
A recipient of a government scholarship,
"That was an experience that changed my life because I had the chance to see people in the internet start-up business and it made me realise that it was not out of my reach," he says, adding that the creators of YouTube and Instagram were among his Stanford contemporaries.
Noonswoon was started in late 2012, after an unfortunate event left him single. He began to experience the harsh life of working singles, whose friends are getting married.
This lead him to conduct a personal feasibility study, and he found that there were no solutions for people like him -- young, urban working singles ? as most existing services were aimed at expats finding local partners.
"I wanted to make something hip and cool for people like us to use," he says.
The application was launched in
"I'm proud to say that we were among the first companies able to get funding from
In total, Noonswoon secured
Despite the success,
"When we negotiated with investors, they tended to underfund us because
"I think many investors aren't much smarter than we are but they just wanted to assess whether we could succeed or not. But once we convinced one of them, others followed."
The Noonswoon app works every noon when it sends you potential matches that will have the most similar socioeconomic and lifestyle background as you.
The information is gathered from a user's Facebook profile when they agree to use the application. This ensures people they are not being matched up at random.
If both parties agree, or "like" each other in the application, they can message each other via the app by spending 10 candies ? Noonswoon's in-app currency. When you first use the app, 50 candies are available. To get more candies users either purchase them through their mobile application for
On average the app has about 3,000-4,000 daily users and there are 60,000-70,000 registered users, almost equally of men and women.
Since Noonswoon was launched, there have been more 200,000 matches with 4,000-5,000 people exchanging messages.
Two months ago, Noonswoon launched its premium service which offers a more personalised match-making without having to wait until noon. Around 500 people have expressed interest in joining.
If successful, the Noonswoon team will search the database for potential matches. If both sides accept each other then the company will arrange a date and all logistics associated with the process.
"What makes Noonswoon different to other match-making companies is that our service is 10 times cheaper than what they offer," says
But he assures everyone that the quality and user experience are similar to its rivals, offering more convenience and more features for people to play with.
He declines to discuss the company's revenue because it is still in the early stage and since it has grown very fast this might not be a meaningful measure of the company.
Noonswoon started with three staff and now has five. Soon there will be nine.
In 2015, Noonswoon plans to expand to 200,000 users. But his ultimate goal is to have 20% of the two to three million singles in
The company is also testing the application in
"Those places have a similar population make-up as
Ultimately, he wants to use technology to help people with interesting qualities meet someone similar.
"Many Thais seem to think that this sort of thing is a matter of faith and that is partly true. But if you wait without doing something for yourself then your life is likely to remain the same."
And what about himself? Has he found his true love through his own dating application?
"As the founder, I do use the application. But the hectic schedule of running Noonswoon has prevented me from being an active user. Once the operation side settles down, I will, of course, open myself to the opportunities the application presents," he says with a laugh.
Related search: entrepreneur, dating, app, application
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