OPW INTERVIEW - Feb 27 - Arnaud Passafe is one of the two founders and current CEOs of Teloop, a mobile French dating site that launched 6 months ago after one year in Beta. We have interviewed Arnaud for our French version of OPW and here is the translated interview.
What’s the founding story of Teloop?
We are two long-term friends who, while we were still student engineers in 2010, decided to put our knowledge in IT into practice and create a website. At the time we were single, so we had this idea of a dating site.
Given the evolution of smartphones, we thought it’d be interesting to use this technology for the online dating industry. This would allow bachelors to login anytime from anywhere!
We were not expecting this to work out so well but our website meets users’ expectations. According to several predictions, by 2014 one out of two connections on the Internet will be made via cell phones. This is really a developing market.
How is Teloop different from existing online dating websites?
What makes Teloop different in the highly competitive online dating industry is the mobile version, which is compatible with all smartphones available today.
We also put a lot of our efforts in security on the website, which is why all profiles are verified. If we have the slightest doubt, the profile will be deactivated.
Also Teloop offers a geographic localization option to find users near you, on top of all the usual functionality (profile browsing, customized research, blacklisting, contact adding system, instant chat, photo uploading etc.)
Why did you choose the name Teloop?
That’s a good question… There is no particular reason! We liked how it sounds.
How are you monetizing?
The website is totally free for women, so we have nearly as many women as men among users (48% of women, 52% of men).
For men, the site offers a Freemium plan: you can run a customized search for free upon subscription, browse profiles, see photos, or send messages and “bisoop” (virtual kisses and a play on the word bisou, which is French kiss).
For advance functionality such as instant chat, male users can become VIP members for 8€/month.
How are you marketing out your concept?
So far we didn’t want to include external founders, our communication budget is therefore fairly limited. We encourage natural indexing and word-of-mouth.
We have also run a few AdWords campaigns.
Our site currently amounts to 25,000 active users (profiles updated in the last two months).
How do you see Teloop's future over the coming year?
The English version should be launched by the end of the year (finalization in progress).
Besides the mobile version of Teloop, we will launch our website application on the Apple Store and Android Market… Hopefully before the end of this year.