OPW INTERVIEW - Mar 30 - Meetmoi has one of the best mobile dating offerings around. We interviewed Andrew Weinrich, the CEO, in January 2009. Andrew was the founder of SixDegrees.com, no less. Here’s our interview with Alexander Harrington, a Wharton MBA grad, and the President.
Listen to the interview
What is your background?
I joined MeetMoi as President in June of 2009. Prior to that I had been Senior Vice President of Strategy Operations for Zagat, most known for its print and online restaurant guides.
How would you say work with Zagat has influenced what you’re doing with MeetMoi?
MeetMoi had a great strength in technology and direct marketing and I had a direct marketing background. I think I managed an enterprise that was very brand focused and had strength in licensing and these are directions I’ve taken the company.
Zagat is certainly a great service and I use it every couple of weeks. MeetMoi of course is a great name as well. How are you going to build that into an unique dating service?
The thrust of MeetMoi is centered around the value of bringing dating into a mobile context. People carry their devices with them wherever they go. The real time communication channel and the location based element add a new dimension to dating. It makes it much more immediate and reduces the friction to help people connect in person in a way that traditional dating websites don’t.
How do people really react to location based services? Do you find you have a majority of users using it?
One of the hurdles to get over is getting consumers comfortable with sharing their location. When people share their location with us they’re sharing it with us alone and we don’t disclose it to other users. We can then return matches nearby.
I can’t help thinking some users would imagine somebody walking up to them using their phone like a homing beacon. How accurate is it? How closely defined location wise is it?
Right now what we share is distance; we don’t share direction or specific location. So you can’t very well track someone down with that information. It just gives you a sense of who is nearby and who could potentially be available to meet in person, which is the most natural way of getting to know someone.
You’ve introduced virtual gifts recently. How is that going?
It’s going great. One of the things we discovered about virtual gifts in a dating context is that consumers are less price sensitive and we found our higher price point $5.99 is actually in some days the best seller, better than the $3.99 and $1.99 price points. It’s a great differentiator and users are willing to pay because there are additional services that come with it, for example “a la carte” communication that you would otherwise have to subscribe to.
Have you done an analysis on how much more people respond once they’ve received a virtual gift?
We have looked at the numbers early on. I would say users are two to three times more responsive.
I can imagine people who are using mobile dating to be a little more active and a little more interested in events. You have just teamed up with Time Out. How is that working out?
They’re a tremendous partner for us. For years they have been creating content around single lifestyle and nightlife in major cities around the US. So it is the right kind of brand to work with. We provide them both mobile dating and traditional online dating in an integrated experience. The users that they’ve added to our network have been really active and engaged.
What does the future hold for MeetMoi? Where would you like to end up 2010?
We would like to be the largest mobile dating company in the world. We see mobile dating not just as a niche business. We see mobility as a killer app especially for people in their 20’s who are interested more in casual dating.