TwoMangoes: Indian Singles Can Now Date Outside of the ‘Pressure Cooker’
TwoMangoes.com is a dating site that brings a fresh new flavor to the online dating world. The website allows singles to traverse the ‘long’ journey between dating and marriage. Originally launched in the US and Canada in January of 2011, TwoMangoes has now entered into the Indian market. We caught up with the cofounder Anita Dharamshi to know how the seeds were sown.
Not a Matrimonial Website
“We have made it our mission to steer away from the traditional matrimonial or ‘biodata’ approach,” explained Anita. “We’ve replaced that often intense, pressure-cooker type of environment with one that is much more relaxed and non-intrusive, allowing singles to feel comfortable in connecting with each other. The focus of our site is to create more of a community feel, and less of a database experience. This is further supported by features like our blog, the Mango Wire, laddoos, and other various fun features of the site,” she added.
TwoMangoes’ Name to Fame
“We spent a lot of time trying to come up with the perfect name to represent our brand,” said Anita. “We knew that we didn’t want to alienate the younger generation by choosing something that was too traditional or meant wedding or marriage in any language. We were looking for something new-age and we also knew that we wanted to use the word ‘Mango.’ After going through numerous options, some of which turned out to be already taken by ‘Adult sites,’ one of us asked the question, ‘What’s better than one mango?’ ‘TwoMangoes!’ And the rest is history,” Anita explained excitedly.
Coming from an entrepreneurial family, the apple couldn’t have fallen very far from the tree. “I’ve been involved in various businesses in a variety of industries including telecom and marketing services. Further I was the co-founder of Kismet, North America’s largest Indian wedding show,” says Anita. The current team at TwoMangoes consists of the four founders and three early stage employees, bringing a variety of expertise from product development, marketing and social media, strategy and analytics, SEO/SEM, and financial operations.
How many people mingle on TwoMangoes?
The traffic has mostly been through word of mouth and apparently the word is giving the speedometer a challenge. “We anticipate crossing the 10,000 user mark (in India) very soon,” said Anita.
Angel Funding and the Revenue Model
TwoMangoes has secured an angel round of funding from Andy Jasuja, the co-founder of Sigma Systems, to launch and iterate the product. The funding raised to date has been primarily used towards development, social media, and marketing activities.
Although the website is free, TwoMangoes has three models of revenue generation:
- For users that want to use the site over the free messaging limit, there are prepaid Mangoes that can be bought to redeem for services such as gifts, instant chat, and more conversations.
- For users that don’t want to keep buying Mangoes, there is also a postpaid subscription option, which gives them unlimited access to all value added value services, including background checks and profile reviews.
- Finally, given the high traffic and page views the website encounters, TwoMangoes allows companies and brands to advertise on their site, targeting to the 22+ age group of professionals, thus leading to ad revenue.
The marketing model
“That’s like asking the recipe for our secret sauce!” says Anita. “But in all seriousness, our marketing strategy is extremely unique, especially if you compare our business with others in this space. Of course, we spend a significant amount of our budget on online advertising, leveraging SEO/SEM best practices, and other traditional methods,” she explains. “However, our social media execution is probably our most unique marketing technique; we have a very active and engaged community on both Twitter and Facebook. Further, we have weekly videos to engage the online audience looking for content on dating, such as what to wear on a first date, and a strong offline presence at various events throughout the world. As they say, stay tuned as the best is yet to come!”
The final word from TwoMangoes
The matrimonial and online dating space is currently going through a complete makeover. Today’s single Indians are slowly losing interest in the traditional matrimonial sites that previously dominated the space. What we are seeing now is an increasing number of companies looking to provide different solutions and products to meet this generation’s unmet demand. There are many niche ideas that have been introduced, but none of which cater to the masses. This is where TwoMangoes is uniquely positioned to service this strong unmet need.
Give TwoMangoes a spin if you’re in the mood for some mingling.
- Jubin Mehta