Rajat – Founder, Krush
Love is in the air on valentine’s day. Rajat, founder of Krush, is going to talk about his new entrepreneurial initiative which plays the cupid! Welcome Rajat.
Me: Sundar Rajan G S
R: Rajat, founder of Krush – Dating App
Me: Hi Rajat, Welcome to Coffee With Sundar. Tell us about yourself and Krush?
Thanks for having me, Sundar. I’m a Bangalore-born college dropout and I have been an entrepreneur in different ways since I was a teen.
The idea for Krush came to me in college when I had to tactfully deflect awkward requests for introductions to girls I knew. There were also times I had to ask for introductions too and realized that there had to be an easier way to approach women. Krush came about as a result of that.
In a nutshell, Krush is an app that introduces you to single friends of friends. The BETA version of the app has been downloaded over 8500 times in a month and broken the ice between hundreds of couples successfully. We are really excited about how things are shaping up.
Me: What kind of audience is Krush designed for?
Krush works for anyone who is single, but going by the data, also for some not-so-single people as well. So far, it’s been adopted by college students and young professionals who don’t get as much time to socialize as they used to.
Krush is a really simple way to discover interesting people around you who are just one degree of separation away, but practically invisible.
Me: What has the feedback for Krush been like so far?
The feedback has been exciting so far. We have validated that there is a pressing need for an app like Krush at a time when we have less time to actually socialize offline. I believe we are primed to also disrupt the Indian market that’s typically considered conservative, but has changed radically in the last five to eight years. While the matrimonial space is saturated with umpteen players, the dating space is largely untapped so we have the opportunity to set the course.
We’re staying super focussed on the product for now and moving really fast.
Me: Who are your competitors? How are you going to beat them?
There are no serious players that are committed to serving the Indian market per se. While a plethora of dating apps are available for both Android and iOS, they are designed for a Western audience whose dynamics are completely different. For instance, they tend to connect people who are in the same proximity, but who come from a different strata of society. Having said that, when was the last time you heard about a law student date a bartender in India for example?
So although the usual suspects like OKCupid, Zoosk and Tinder are proven in the West, they are yet to demonstrate similar success in the East.
Me: Tell us about how Krush works exactly and its unique features.
Krush requires you to login with Facebook and asks for you for permissions such as your age, friend list, location, interests, activities and so on. We use this information to understand who you really are and send you a batch of ten daily dates at 7 pm. Some of these will be friends, but most of them are friends of friends who you are supposed to “like” or “skip” anonymously. If you happen to like someone who also likes you back, both of you find out that the feelings are mutual and can get in touch.
Krush also shows you the number of people who have liked you on the app in a “Secret Likes” page. You can unlock subtle clues about who these people are by inviting your friends to the app. We took a small gamble on this feature, but Krush users are inviting a few thousand friends daily through this feature.
Me: What are some of the challenges you face?
The biggest challenge for any dating app is recruiting women consistently. We have managed to do this so far by implementing a stringent set of privacy settings.
Firstly, Krush only suggests dates with people who share at least one mutual friend with you. This goes a long way in ensuring that you only see people who come from a similar social background.
Second, Krush never discloses your phone number, exact location, or other personal information that’s not explicitly defined as “Public” on Facebook.
Third, no one can even contact you on the app unless you’ve explicitly indicated interest in them.
And last but not least, the app is completely anonymous. People will never find out that you like them, unless they also like you back.
Me: So what’s up next?
I can’t go into much detail but we are working on some incredible facial recognition, social context, and personality-based algorithms that help you assemble your perfect girl or guy in the same way you’d choose the toppings of a pizza. Imagine being able to specify that you want someone with person A’s eyes, person B’s sense of humor, person C’s love for Thai food, and a person whose favorite band is The Beatles for example.
Me: Before you go, where can people download Krush?
You can download Krush from the Google Play Store right away. You can also download the iPhone app by visiting www.krushapp.com
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