OPW INTERVIEW - June 7 - The Indian dating market is hot. I've known Lija and Nikhil since their days at RSVP. Now they've set their sights on the Indian dating app market. Here's my interview with Lija, the co-founder of Troozi. - Mark Brooks
What's Troozi's founding story?
Me and my co-founder Nikhil Jain met when we were working at RSVP. We formulated a rapid growth plan and tried to destigmatise online dating in Australia. RSVP moved from a #3 position in market to becoming the clear market leader in Australia over a 3 year period. We spent ~7 years working on RSVP before independently leaving to pursue other startup interests. Jain turned his focus to India. India posed an incredibly exciting opportunity for launching a new product focused on urban singles and younger women keen to expand their social circles.
Why did you feel there was an opening in the market?
India's middle class was exploding and more and more young singles were turning to online in the search for connections, friends, fun and love interest in urban centres. Australia in comparison was a very small market and had reached a state of maturity.
Mobile is the most exciting opportunity for the future of Troozi. India has just overtaken the US in smart phone users, now ranking as the 2nd largest market in the world.
Troozi has focused on building its social presence which has been very successful in appealing to the female user base. Troozi now has members all over the country and Indian singles in the US, Australia and the UAE have also jumped on board.
How many active members do you have at this stage?
We don't disclose our active member figures publicly but our engagement numbers continue to perform well and our churn rate is very small, members are checking their accounts frequently.
Are you focused on women more than men?
Yes, in our marketing efforts and product planning.
How fast is the Indian dating market growing?
India is still showing strong and rapid growth in online dating, forecasts have the addressable market at ~115 M people and conservative estimates suggest this will surpass 200M by the end of 2017.
Obviously, the growth is being largely driven by mobile usage. In 2015, 100M smart phones were shipped to India, up 23% YOY.
How are the use patterns changing?
Users are becoming more and more comfortable with dating profiles and putting themselves out.
What kind of funding are you looking for at this stage?
We will most likely start to roadshow Troozi for our next raise mid year and our next stage of growth. Our plans for how much investment we will go out and seek to secure will directly to relate to our plans to hit some key milestones this quarter.
What are your plans for 2016-2017 for Troozi?
Our plans for mobile iteration continue to be the priority.