OPW INTERVIEW - Oct 8 - Noonswoon is a mobile dating app that launched in Thailand this year. Noonswoon is a winner of 2013 AIS startup contest, and has recently raised $400K. Here is our interview with CEO Peter Panas. - Irena Brooks
What is Noonswoon's founding story? What is your background?
Mickey Asavanant and I co-founded Noonswoon in 2013. We're both still single and personally motivated to build a dating company that doesn't suck. Mickey previously co-founded a dating company which grew to 2.5M users and is now part of the Match.com family, and I've been working in product management at larger Internet companies, e.g. Priceline, Yahoo, Amazon, MySpace.
How does Noonswoon works? Would you say Noonswoon is Asia's CoffeeMeetsBagel?
Noonswoon introduces singles to one quality match per day. CMB is probably one of the more similar western dating companies, but our functionality is geared much more toward the needs of an Asian audience. The goal of finding love remains the same.
What's your business model?
We're still optimizing the business model, but in essence users pay to be introduced to other quality singles.
How many active users do you have?
40K. We see ~1k new users per day.
How do you spread the word about Noonswoon?
Our users are our top evangelists spreading the word about Noonswoon.
Who do you consider to be your biggest competition in Thailand?
We don't really have any serious direct competition here. The local market is primarily still comprised of offline dating agencies.
Have you launched in other Asian countries?
What's the market like in Thailand? What is the biggest difference between US and Asia?
Dating culture in Thailand is still very different from the US and Europe. Asians place much more importance on privacy.
Congratulations on the $400K funding. What is your plan on using the money? What is your priority?
Hiring the smartest people on the planet to join our team.
Where do you want Noonswoon to be in the next 18 months?
We want to establish Noonswoon as the leading dating company in Asia.