Malayali youth strikes gold with dating apps

Able Joseph relocated from Kochi to Bengaluru in 2004, at the age of 16, to become a musician.

During an era when youngsters were hooked to Hindi pop, he hardly stood a chance with little knowledge of the language notwithstanding his efforts at self-promotion through the web.

That tryst with the Internet, however, proved a blessing when he launched Aisle, arguably India’s leading high intent dating app, a decade ago. Since then he has launched three more similar apps – ‘Arike’, India’s first vernacular dating app for Malayalis across the globe, followed by ‘Anbe’ and ‘Neetho’ for Tamil and Telugu audiences respectively – now boasting of a collective user base of over seven million.

“Another app targeting yet another regional audience in India will be launched in the next couple of months. The idea was to strike a middle ground between matrimonial sites and casual dating apps. The pandemic has been a mixed bag with the a lot more people, including women, getting on dating apps for fighting loneliness while the revenue took a hit as the paid services had little demand, especially during the first 10 months of the period,” said Mr. Joseph, Founder & CEO of Aisle, who originally hails from Thammanam.

Among the paid services offered by the apps included a personal invite along the lines of a passionate love letter elaborating the reasons for choosing a person. Subscribing to a paid service and taking the pain to send such a personalised invite are likely to impress a woman of the seriousness of the approach of the man concerned, he said.

The success of the company, having managed to break even without availing of any venture capital, also seems to have impressed up on investors. Info Edge, among the largest tech public companies in India and operates pioneering internet platforms such as Naukri, Jeevansaathi, 99 acres and Shiksha among others, has acquired 76% stake in the company for ₹91 crore.

“We believe that the liquidation was perfectly timed for high valuation. With Info Edge on board, we now have a real shot at becoming the largest dating company in India. We also want to make sure that we don’t loss Malayali users to any other apps,” said Mr. Joseph.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 2:57:53 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/malayali-youth-strikes-gold-with-dating-apps/article65227240.ece