Dating apps have been in existence in India for quite some time now. However, scaling in a market where dating is traditionally considered taboo, has not been easy for homegrown apps.
But along came the pandemic, and with it, a new normal. When everything from shopping to education went virtual, disrupting internet businesses all through, why not go online to find that perfect date too!
And riding this wave is Bengaluru -based Jitesh Bisht, who launched HiHi App, a dating app, in June 2020.
“One of the biggest problems for people on dating apps is to start talking to a new person. And this behaviour is quite prevalent in non-metro cities,” says Jitesh.
To take this inhibition away, the dating app provides topic suggestions people can use to start their conversation. The app also claims to keep a very strict tab on flagged accounts.
“We want people, and especially women, to feel safe on our app. And, we also want them to be able to break the ice without coming off too strong,” says Jitesh.
The app’s target audience is those between 18 and 65 years. He adds that at least 60 percent of users come from cities including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune, among others. Users from Tier II cities including Lucknow, Bhopal, Kanpur, Patna, and Surat also join the platform.
After giving users free access for the first six months, Hihi’s makers decided to put some features behind a paywall. While earlier users could swipe as many profiles as they wanted, now there is a limit of 15 free profiles a day. The app also has the video calling feature, giving users the option to date virtually.
There are between 30,000 and 40,000 monthly active users on the app, out of which Jitesh aims to convert 5-10 percent into paid subscribers, which will help in more revenue generation.
One of the biggest challenges Hihi is facing is reducing the drop off rate on the app. While people might download the app, they do not always complete the registration process, and may not even begin to try the app. Sometimes even after completing the process, people don’t end up using the app, Jitesh admits.
You can download the app from the Google play store.