It’s that time of the year again – Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Not a great time if you are single. For starters, this is the time when you look on enviously at your friends who have been lucky enough to land a companion. Secondly, the current online options for singletons are quite depressing in their conformity to the same boring clichés and matching criteria.
Well, we thought of bringing some cheer by putting together a collection of services that bring something unique to this process.
HatkeShaadi (formerly TwolyMadlyDeeply.com)
Overview: Bespoke ‘hatke’ matrimony service for the modern yet traditional Indian
USP:Treating each member as a ‘hatke’ person and not a ‘profile’
Interactions: Online, Offline
Subscription: Starts at INR 2250/- for 3 months
Description:Serving new-age Indians who are modern yet traditional in their outlook – who would like to evaluate compatibility before taking the plunge. A counsellor speaks to new registrants to verify authenticity and understand life experiences and partner preferences before moving to members’ area. Interestingly, membership plans promise a specific number of introductions by the counsellor with hand-picked members who are highly compatible. Frequent singles mixers can also be used to meet online connections in a relaxed environment.
Overview:Smart matchmaking for top Indian professionals
USP:Stringent qualification process even to create a profile
Subscription: Starts at INR 5000/- for 3 months
Description: Projected as the matchmaking service for busy professionals, iBB gets a prospective user to first verify whether they qualify, and only then lets them create a profile. It has extensive criteria separately defined for men and for women in addition to defining a select list of qualifying cities and countries. The mandatory multi-page questionnaire ensures an understanding of the user while also dissuading casual members. The founders have also stated that they are against caste-based selections as a principle.
Overview: Positioned as the online dating site for South Asians across the globe
USP:Informal vibe that might help in easy initial interactions
Subscription: ‘Mangoes’ are the de-facto currency on the site. Buy them, use them!
Description:Launched initially in the US and Canada, TwoMangoes launched in India in 2012. They are focused on creating a casual atmosphere for the users so as to ease the process of initial interactions. For example, one can send laddoos as a way to break the ice or buy mangoes to redeem against gifts or instant chats. Users can also obtain background checks and profile reviews as part of subscription plans. The site boasts many Indians living abroad given its origins.
Overview:Matrimony site for the South Asian community across the globe
USP:Go through the evolution of the relationship through a 4 step stage-gate process
Subscription: Starts at INR 6000/- for 3 months
Description:A member can build a social graph and involve her friends/family to verify a prospect’s credentials. Members can also match family and individual rapport of the two people involved, to figure out if the families can gel together. A stage gate process of break the ice, learn more, get talking and plan meeting can be used by the prospects to take their relationship forward.Has Indian origin users from around the world.
Overview:A singles network that organizes experience based events
USP: Good quality events for screened members in Bangalore, Mumbai and NCR
Subscription: Starts at INR 7500/- (events are additional)
Description:FLOH screens every registrant before letting them be a part of the network. Most of the interactions between users are at their events held almost once in three weeks, in partnership with various venues. Events include a wide range of experiences such as yachting, theatre, cooking and gaming. Registrations are possible on their website as well as their Facebook app. Their objective is to connect the singles at these events and let the singles take it from there on their own.
- We had done a similar list last year, which can be found here
- In addition, there are a slew of dating apps such as Twine and DesiCrush for those who prefer the mobile interaction mode
- Stepout has been acquired by the global dating site Twoo. Started as a group dating site, it evolved into a dating site that could facilitate offline interactions, before being acquired
- DateIITians has been down for a few months, preparing for a re-launch. Started as a site to connect members from highly specific tier 1 educational institutes across India and the world, it is currently being redesigned
- Ditto is currently down, preparing for a re-launch. The core was a very specific matching engine that would connect two users with similar interests