With casual dating gaining popularity among young Indians, Josh Israel and Devin Serago provide a direct digital solution for dating in India with their app ‘THRILL’. Here is an app that allows women to be in control and men to prove their worth.
Before the inception of the app, Devin, chief of love and money, quit his Fund handling accounting job and skipped his CPA (certified public accountant) exam while on the other hand Josh, chief dating officer, dropped out of school with 3 classes left till graduation in the United States, to move to India and start the mobile dating app. Josh mentions that from that day on till the present, they’ve had a thrilling experience!
Apart from this app, many other mobile (online and offline) dating apps exist some of which we’ve mentioned on Valentine’s Day. As a start up, there are several problems one may face. Josh points out that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how “big” the problem is, but there are 70-80 million smart phones and with that number rapidly increasing by day and of that and of that a majority is purchased by the youth of our country, there is a huge scope of success for this app. The idea was conceived after Josh and Devin landed in India and realized they had no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into. The difficult part was to go out and speak with girls to find out what they are looking for. Because at the end of the day, the big question is- “What do women really want?”
Josh and Devin are highly inspired by the quote, “follow your passion and it will lead to success.”Currently there are six more developers working on the Thrill Dating App.
The transition from regular jobs to entrepreneurship was that of merriment and enthusiasm for the thrilling duos. Josh tells us how his father convinced his not so happy Mother to allow their son to not become a working stiff like him. In his father’s words, “Screw it, you are young – you only live once. Go for it.”
The ‘Thrill’ mode
Their present target audience are young professionals in the age group of 18 to 25 year old demographic. They aim to create an exciting experience for couples who’ve met on their app and have them speak about Thrill. Thrill dating app has a premium model, whereby users get points to utilize premium features within the app. For example, a user gets 4 free matches per day, past that they would have to unlock additional matches or use their points which then translate to real rupees. One can earn points by purchasing them or inviting friends to this platform.
The app is currently live on Android and iOS and has closed a seed round of funding from investors in India, Singapore and the US. With this, they are also in the process of closing a bridge round. In the next 6-12 months they propose to scale significantly through various partnerships that are in the works and currently have about 30,000 users on board.
Dating and Challenges
According to the duo, the big fish is matrimonial site and what gives them an upper edge is that nothing as mobile friendly has been effectively created in this sector for Indian users. Their major challenges range from a transition in job to survival in a completely new country. Josh shares with us the hardest part of all, which was adjusting to everyday life here in India. He further explains that it’s not thrilling to have had food poisoning three times in a row. Besides that, typical challenges that startups face and changing their entire lifestyle was tough.
Josh explains that their big picture vision is as ambitious as it can get. They are trying their best to remove the stigma enveloping the idea of casual dating in India. There’s an underlying cultural shift occurring in India where young boys and girls are concerned and they want to help ease the shift in culture in India.
The three principles according to Josh and Devin are vital for the success of the startup are- Passion, Perseverance & Filtration. When you are an entrepreneur pitching your idea/vision for your company to every single person you speak to will in turn give you an idea to make it better. Beyond this, there will be many who don’t like your idea, but being able to filter the negativity and focusing on the essentials will always prove to be a success in entrepreneurship.