OPW INTERVIEW - May 31 - Jens Kammerer ran KWICK!, a German social network that grew to 2.3 million members over 12 years. Now Jens runs the 10 million strong dating app Jaumo, and has launched Pink. Here's my interview with Jens. - Mark Brooks
What is your founding story? Why start a dating app?
We founded a German local social network in 2001 and operated it until 2011 (the company was acquired). One of the main reasons our members at that time used the website was to flirt and chat with others. We knew the days of those local social websites were over (thanks to Facebook) and that was the reason to start Jaumo: a great place to meet new people, honest and simple to use. At first, Jaumo was a dating website and in 2012 we released apps for Android and iOS. Nowadays we focus on our apps only. The company is based in Germany and is still operated by just us: the two founders. The app is available in over 40 languages and we have members in over 200 countries worldwide.
How did you grow the userbase so fast? What channels did you use and what worked best?
It took us quite a while to get to the first million members. That was in 2014. We worked very hard on expanding and improving our app to offer a unique experience to our members. The growth started to increase and we added 9 million new users in the last two years. Most of them in the last months and we currently add over 30,000 new members every day. We surpassed 10 million members lately and wanted to take this moment to say 'thanks' to all our members. The recipe for our success is simple: we love what we do and we keep things real.
Organic growth is very important for us. We're proud that Jaumo is one best-rated dating apps in the world. We have a top rating from over 400,000 satisfied members in both app stores for Android and iOS. That's one reason why so many new people sign up every day. We have 2 million MAU.
We grew mainly via organic traffic. We have a good standing in the app stores.
What is the single most important feature that users love the most?
The most important feature is the match game called "Zapping". Users decide who they like and when both liked each other it's a match. Simple as that. Other than on match-game only apps like Tinder, members can also see who's nearby and who has visited the profile for example. And of course, most of the features are completely free.
Is Pink like Bumble?
Pink is a new app we launched last year and it offers an optimized version of Jaumo for women. We observed the needs and behavior of our female members and realized that this differs from our male members. With Pink, women are always in control: they only get messages from the people they like, and they can decide who can start a conversation. Unlike Bumble, there is no timer for matches and women do not have to make the first move. With Pink, men usually send a request to women and women decide if they want to start a conversation.
What do you charge for your two apps?
It depends on where the user is from. US is $10.99, European countries like Germany or Italy 9.99 € for one month VIP, our premium membership. We have lower prices for 3 and 12 months. We also offer our members to become a VIP for free when they download other apps for example. All basic features are free.
What are your plans and goals for 2016?
We're working on the final steps for our version 4.0 where we focus on a simpler user interface and an improved user experience. We had the biggest growth in our company's history for the first quarter of 2016 and we're on the best way to an even better second quarter. Our goal is to reach more than 16 million members at the end of the year.