Singles who have swiped their hearts away one too many times in their quest to find ‘The One’ fret no more; a new dating app is in town to help you see the rose-coloured light at the end of the love tunnel.
The Lunch Actually Group, one of Southeast Asia’s largest dating agencies, today announced the launch of LunchClick, a dating app targetting singles who are interested in genuine dates and long-term relationships.
According to LunchClick Founder and CEO Violet Lim, the dating app industry is flooded with apps catered to casual, fleeting encounters, which is daunting for singles who are hoping to connect with like-minded and genuine daters.
Singles then have to make do with a ‘trial and error’ method in sifting through dates on the plethora of apps available, and unfortunately incur experiences with sleazebags or single-but-whoops-I’m-actually-married users.
With LunchClick, however, Lim intends to create a different playing field, positioning the platform as the safer, simpler way in getting more satisfactory offline dates.
“This is an app for serious daters; if you’re serious, come and use our app,” says Lim.
She also shares diving into the world of dating apps was a natural progression given her experience in the dating industry for over 10 years. She co-founded matchmaking platforms like Lunch Actually — which has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Jakarta, along with eSynchrony.
“Now with everybody being on the smartphone, we think it makes sense cause that’s what singles are looking for,” shares Lim.
According to LunchClick, 40 per cent of Singaporeans in their search for love turn to online dating, and while the app does target this demographic, she highlights that LunchClick was born out of a need to address gaps and issues in the dating app market.
“We didn’t want to come up with a Tinder clone, we wanted to see what was really missing in the dating app landscape,” Lim insists.
The two main issues she identified, aside from a platform for serious daters, was the need for a more streamlined dating process to encourage offline dates as well as establishing the credibility of the platform and the users on it.
Getting to that love, step by step
So how does LunchClick work and how does it solve those issues?
Users start by signing up with their Facebook profiles and filling up details like ethnicity, occupation, religion, height and so on. Singaporean users have to input their NRIC to verify their status as single or married, which provides credibility to app as a legitimate space for singles.
After being manually vetted, singles will receive one match at noon daily, to which both users must mutually click ‘like’ within 24 hours before proceeding on. No creepy pick up lines, no profiles getting buried under a sea of other profiles; just one match a day.
Successful likes will then get their chance to interact and suss out their potential dates through a questions and answer session, with over 100 questions focussing on topics like values, opinions, interests and aspirations.
Lim highlights that this unique feature of LunchClick is what sets the app apart, and reduces the awkwardness of small talk or abandoning a chat because the other user was too boring or unappealing.
“We realised that allowing open chatting sometimes lengthens the whole process of people getting offline. And with dating, you have to meet offline, ” Lim shares with e27.
To make it easy for LunchClick users to get that offline date, the app has a ‘propose-a-date’ option. Singles can click on the ‘ask her out on a date’ or ‘ask him out on a date option’ and pick a place and time for the date to happen.
Any pending and upcoming dates will then be organised in a ‘Datebook’ for the user’s perusal, where they can either accept, re-propose or reject the date. Users will also be sent an auto reminder twice for incoming dates; one for 24 hours before the date and another two hours before.
After users have gone on their (hopefully awesome) date, LunchClick has a post-date feedback feature to review their match such as selecting certain traits to describe them and even rating their punctuality. The feedback will not be shared to users, but will be funneled into the matching algorithm to curate more accurate future matches.
“Everything is step by step, its not so awkward and the fear of rejection is also not so high, because you understand that its part of the process,” says Lim.
The app is currently free for download on the iOS App store and Google Play, but also has a priced option in the form of ‘Love Assistant’- an actual LunchClick employee-personal assistant who will help you handpick your matches, equip you with dating 101 starter pack and run profile analysis on your dates.
And what’s the damage for your own tech-savvy fairy godmother? A rather pricey SG$99 (US$73). You are assured at least one offline date however, or your money back guaranteed.
When asked about future plans on pricing for LunchClick, Lim says that while monetisation is important to the Lunch Actually Group, it’s not something they need to pursue aggressively at this moment.
“We are still testing for acceptability in the market, so until we are very sure, like 100 per cent, that this is the thing that is going to fly, then we will start looking at monetisation,” Lim tells e27.
The amount funded for LunchClick by the Lunch Actually Group is undisclosed, but Lim shares that project has been in the works for about six months, with the platform in beta for the last two weeks. So far, 50 offline dates have occurred via the app.