Ex-Googlers and a college dropout play Cupid this Valentine’s Day
Rajat Rao, a college dropout from Purdue University, and two ex-Google employees may not turn out to be your knights in shining armor this Valentine’s Day, but their dating app, Krush, is sure one helluva Cupid!
Though there are many more apps and startups, which help you ‘hook up’ this Friday, Krush is betting on providing a safer experience by limiting your options to your existing Facebook network. Rajat told YourStory the tale behind the app and what it offers.
Shutting down despite 50X returns
Rajat has been an entrepreneur since his childhood. He set up his first business with a friend at the age of 12, selling fish as pets. In two years, he made 5000x gains but had to shut down because their teachers didn’t approve. At 15, he managed music artists. “An attempt” to pursue degree in marketing at Purdue University was next. He dropped out of college to work with two of Ex-Amazon guys. His job was to negotiate deals with music companies. Then the startup bug bit and he succumbed.
And Krush was born. “Growing up in school and college, we had experienced how awkward and embarrassing the process of approaching a girl can be. We knew that this can be simplified and when we came across the Facebook API, we went ahead and made Krush,” Rajat says.
Making matches like picking pizza toppings
His two co-founders are from Google, Mountain View office. One of them was with the Android team while the other was a part of the YouTube team before serving at Color software (which was acquired by Apple in 2006).
Sharing his plans for the product, he says, “We want Krush to make match-making like selecting toppings for a pizza. If someone is looking for a person with a good sense of humor, who loves listening to ‘The Beatles’ and preferably is a vegetarian, he/she should be able to find the suitable match using Krush.”
Facebook playing gate-keeper
Krush uses Facebook sign up, which keeps a check on spamming as only people with at least one friend will be allowed to use this app. The app will show your potential matches from your friends or friends’ friend network only. Once signed up, you will receive a daily batch of compatible friends at 7 PM from which you can choose to find more information. Only if the other person reciprocates, you can access the profile and let match-making happen. First five match-makings are free and thereafter every match-making will cost you $2 (this is yet to be explored).
Though in terms of anonymous match-making system, Krush is similar to Tinder or Thrill app, it does not provide any information based on your location. Instead it gives out information of only people in your network.
A secret feature
One of the interesting features of Krush app is that it allows you to secretly like people you find interesting without them knowing about it immediately. To know who they are, you will have to invite three friends after which you will be provided with one clue to the name of your secret admirer. This trick feature has helped the app’s download number climb up to 8000+ in a matter of weeks. Going ahead, this remains the key to gain traction.
Apart from generating revenue through match-making, Krush app has plans to tie up with coffee places where prospective couples can chat over coffee. There will be a premium option of getting your profile pushed while giving the options of potential matches. Having said that, Rajat was very clear that right now their focus is only on growth and engagement of users and the revenue opportunities will be explored later.
Unique value proposition
Rajat says that the current ratio of male to female users is 3:2, which is pretty healthy as compared to other apps in the same domain. Sharing the secret of maintaining this healthy ratio, he says, “We have taken utmost care to ensure privacy, which is very important for female users. Until a user approves, nobody can even send them texts. So the problem of flooded inbox is not there. Anonymity encourages more girls to use this platform. Also, they feel more secure with their profile being suggested to their existing friends or second degree connections on Facebook.”
For Rajat, who is responsible for thousands of happy matches, love is nothing but work. He has been too busy to find time for dating. But with Krush, he has got three matches till now and hopefully, he will find his Valentine by Friday.
Are you still waiting for a Valentine? Your wait, my friend, could end right here with Krush app on your Android/iOs device.