From New York to New Delhi. Here is How Thrill is Rethinking Dating in India
“Look, if you’re married or think sending a message like “sex chat?” to a woman is ok – don’t even bother downloading our app, you will not get access,” says Josh Israel, the man behind Thrill, a casual dating app.
Thrill is social dating where women get to make all the decisions. The app is designed in a such a way that women decide, who get to join and who do not. Married people are strictly not allowed.
Dating is a relatively new concept in India, “While a lot of the youth are definitely casually dating, the older generations still look down upon it and there’s a certain aura of negativity surrounding it.” This thought gave the duo, Josh and Devin, a reason to start a social dating service that was devoid of the negativity surrounding the dating concept and was more friendly to people who wanted to casually date.
Most online dating sites in India have some major issues, “A lot of the websites that people use in India for dating lack credibility. There are a ton of profiles with no pictures, and no information. Worse, guys are creeping on women by incessantly messaging them inappropriately,” Josh says.
The Thrilling Startup Journey
Before starting on their entrepreneurial journey Devin and Josh were both corporate employees. Josh was handling international sales for A.M. Best, and Devin was handling finance for a Reinvestment Fund in the United States.
After their initial venture, a startup based in Los Angeles, failed, they decided to start afresh with the learning from their earlier mistakes.
For their latest venture, the duo decided to move to Noida, as they were partnering with a company based here for development. Josh being of Indian heritage had visited India when he was a kid. The move also helped them learn more about the culture and people in India. “In the process we learned a bit of Hindi and also got ripped off by a lot of auto rickshaws drivers,” says Josh.
Even though the app was released for the Indian market, the company had to be registered in Singapore, “We were originally planning to open an Indian company, but that in itself was a difficult process due to us being foreigners. So we opted for a Singapore based corporation instead.”
Another big challenge the company faced was with hiring the team. Inspite of India being a country famous for its engineers and techies, the startup found it hard to find talented and creative people “This was a major challenge for us starting up in India, coming from a US/design-oriented background where UI/UX is so important.”
In spite of all this they have designed and developed the product, that is now in early beta stage. The beta app is available for singles in Delhi, Mumbai (and is now seeding in Bangalore). Last week, Thrill demoed in Bangalore, at bigMobilityConf.
“The general feedback for the app has been pretty good from women & men – besides the guys who we deny from accessing Thrill :)”, says the duo.
Currently the app is available only for Android. The iOS app is on the way.
If you are single, do apply for Thrill.