During their times at IIT and Ivy plus universities and even later, Vibin and Vinod continuously heard complaints from friends about how they receive a bad deal online, and how existing matchmaking sites don't live up to expectations. There were innumerable personal stories from friends where they had been scammed online by people pretending to be someone else. There were also stories where there was absolutely no interest shown to their online profiles. So there was this disconnect between reality and online experience which led these entrepreneurs to see the business idea within the problem. Surprisingly, they also kept hearing a refrain from many of their lady friends, asking – where have all the eligible guys gone? After hearing all this and struck with the conundrum, they decided to see the sites for themselves. They realized there were quite a lot of challenges unsolved in the sector and sites haven’t at all kept up with the times. The problems being spam, lack of authenticity, poor visibility for the eligible people and a focus by the industry to milk the users dry. They thus set about creating a meaningful system that can genuinely provide value to the users- mymitra.com: an online matchmaking platform targeting the world’s smartest and most accomplished college matriculated singles.Since their launch about 3 weeks ago, on March 18, 2012, they have had about 130 registrants from across 15 countries. Registrants so far have been postgraduates from Yale, Stanford, MIT, Cornell, Columbia, Cambridge, LSE, IITs, IIMs and many other top notch universities worldwide.
Their target audience is college graduates from across the world. Simply saying, any graduate who wants to date seriously or get married is their prospective customer. “We are a classy matchmaking website. We are open to any serious registrant who is interested in developing a honest and meaningful relationship. Our registrants are from some of the top schools and have absolutely top notch profiles. But this site is not just for Elite schools, any college graduate can join” Vibin adds.
MyMirta is a LLP registered in India and operates independently. They believe that currently no market player has solved some of the problems like verification, authenticity, measuring the quality of each profile, attracting top quality people, giving free basic services, keeping user privacy paramount, keeping the site free of advertisements, discouraging spam and changing to the social networking environment and there lies their USP.
“Currently, matchmaking sites around the world list search results at random or in chronological order. When there are thousands of profiles enrolled, this is a serious visibility problem for the highly accomplished people. In the real world, there is a demand for accomplished individuals as prospective partners, but in the online world they are lost amongst the crowd. At mymitra.com, we categorize accomplished people from the best universities of the world as Elites. We have an internal ranking mechanism, that ensures that the best and the ambitious always rank higher and are displayed at the top of every search result. Our pioneering algorithmic approach is similar to Google’s page rank methodology and we treat each profile differently. So for the first time, highly accomplished people get more prominence over others. We also verify each profile by their college Email ID or official University documents. This process of verification and connecting the online persona to a real physical identity ensures authenticity and accountability, deterring scammers.”
Sharing and communication has changed since the advent of social media. Realising this, mymitra.com has a taken a fresh look at how people interact. Using social media concepts, a member can share thoughts publicly through broadcasts. Users can also privately communicate via private messages or chat.
“This and our unique collection of gifts offer a much richer and better way to appreciate and understand individuals. All this in a total ad free environment. Besides, Privacy is of paramount importance at mymitra. Member’s identity is protected and displayed only as a system generated profile ID. We do not collect address details or phone numbers. Also, we do not disclose the names and other contact information of the members. Our member profiles are held private and not indexed by search engine. We have built in many user controls, so that users can decide on what and how they share.”
Elite members get to use the basic service totally free. In addition, every college graduate who registers gets free credits. They give everybody a chance to try out and experience the site with a strictly pay per use model beyond the free credits, so there are no expensive fees to be paid periodically.
Vibin A., Founder & C.E.O of Mymitra, is an alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology & IIT Madras. Vinod A., his Co-Founder & Mentor is an alumnus of Cornell University & IIT Bombay while Aravind K.P., Founder & C.O.O is a retired executive with 35 years of work experience. Based out of India, their development team works out of Chennai. Their team comprises of 4 core team members and an 8 member development team.
With 100,000 USD invested, mymitra has been self-funded till now. However, they too had their share of initial challenges.
“Inspite of a very high hit rate among visitors, we are currently constrained to word of mouth publicity and reach via personal social networks. So challenge would be to spread the awareness of our site to more audience around the world. Media visibility would definitely be a big plus for Mymitra!” Vibin tells YourStory.
Mymitra also has an interesting video to illustrate their concept. This space is seeing some exciting activity. We recently featured TwoMangoes which is geographically concentrated on India and DateIITians which is a site by IITians for the 'good' of IITians.