Paktor : A Leading Dating App of South Asia, Soon Launching in India and Japan

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Paktor connects you with people nearby whom you’re interested in. It’s all anonymous until someone you like, likes you back. As its name suggests, (Hokkien – a Chinese dialect; going on a date) , Paktor brings people together, no pressure attached.

We want to redefine how you meet new people online. We’ve made it as quick and simple as possible: You see someone whom you absolutely have to get to know. If the feeling is mutual, Paktor makes the introduction. You take it from there.

Paktor provides the mobility and ease of dating or networking on the go. With a simple swipe, you can indicate your interest towards another party.

Paktor has got its reach in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea. Soon they are going to launch in India and Japan.

Techaloo got an opportunity to have a chit-chat with Christopher D’Cruz, one of the co-founders at Paktor.

Techaloo : When did you start your journey?
We started work on Paktor in April 2013 and officially launched at the end of June 2013.
Joseph, the founder of Paktor, was spurred to create Paktor while living in the U.S., completing his MBA at Chicago Booth. After suffering the heartbreak that accompanied the end of a long-term relationship, it was challenging for him to get back into the dating scene, even with the help of dating websites. This led him to realize that if he was struggling to find a date in the U.S., surely there were many like him who had similar problems in Asia – where fear of rejection is much worse than it is in the U.S. He decided to solve the problem himself!

Techaloo : What was your vision/mission while starting Paktor?
To create a pan Asian platform for singles to meet other singles. One that is easy to use, and one that understands the reserved, simplified approach to dating preferred by Asia’s socially conservative society – to allow us to open it up to people who would not normally use online dating.

Techaloo : Have you got any kind of funding?
We are very well funded by an angel investor, who is a very prominent Asian business person, however we are always on the lookout for experienced and strategic partners.

Techaloo : Explain a little more about Paktor?
Paktor is aligned seamlessly with Asian societal norms, we eliminate the fear of rejection for our users. Based on a double blind matching system, Paktor makes it fuss free and conveniently brings people together without pressure. Once both parties have indicated a like towards each other, Paktor will then make the introduction via a chat window.
In addition, the sign up process is quick and simple and feeds directly in to the way the app works. You sign in privately with Facebook: nothing is posted and no one on Facebook will know that you have signed up. We use Facebook to create a simple profile automatically for you. That way, in a few seconds you can go straight in to meeting people!

Our users are sharing more and more stories about finding partners through Paktor. It’s very satisfying when a user posts a happy picture with someone they met on Paktor! Looking at the data, we have made almost 200,000 matches since we launched about three months ago and that number is increasing at an accelerating rate.

Techaloo : Within a very short time span you have covered Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and India; are you planning to hit other Asian countries?
We are currently planning our launch into Japan.

Techaloo : Currently the app is available in various local languages viz. Thai, Korean, Japanese, Malay, Chinese, Vietnamese and Tagalog; Are you planning to launch it in Hindi as well?
That is an option we are considering. As we expand our target audience, we will consider their needs and preferences when deciding whether to add Hindi in to the mix

Techaloo : Which platforms do you have Paktor on?
We currently have Paktor on iOS and Android. We are improving and testing compatibility with earlier versions of Android ahead of our launch in India.

Techaloo : Are you seeing “Skout”, “Avalable” and “NoonSwoon”, as your competitor in South-Asia?
There is a fine line between a competitor and a substitute. There are what I would call substitutes that are more traditional – they are more involved and require users to fill in long profiles and send a lot of message to be in with a chance of matching and meeting people – it’s an intimidating exercise in self flagellation, where users have to try and encompass who they are in their profile. Most people don’t have the time or inclination to even begin such a task. That is why Paktor offers the key elements of simplicity and anonymity that we hope will open up a larger audience to the world of online dating. I don’t see any other company that serves the same combination of needs that Paktor serves. The lack of direct competition is why we decided to launch here in the first place!

Techaloo : Some blogs are claiming that “Tinder” and “Paktor” use the similar user interfaces, right down to the color scheme and motifs. Do you agree with it?
They clearly haven’t looked at Paktor recently! We aim to provide the best possible experience for our users. As mentioned above, there was and still is no other company is Asia that that serves the same combination of needs that Paktor serves.
We have a lot of exciting new features and enhancement coming up soon, all of which are focused on catering to the Asian market, so keep an eye out for these!

Techaloo : What are your plans for next 3 years?
Paktor has recently launched in Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea. It will launch soon in India and Japan. In addition, as we learn more about how users use Paktor and what they want, we will make enhancements to improve their experience – we already have a number of exciting updates in the pipeline. We would love to see Paktor expand globally in the medium term, but for now we want to make sure that we are providing the best possible service to our users in Asia.

Techaloo : What will be your advice for budding entrepreneurs?
You have to enjoy what you do on some level, whether you are passionate about your product or service, or whether you love working with the people around you – there will be tough times and this will help you to get through. Then you should be as analytically rigorous as possible – ask as many questions as possible: how, what, who, when, why. Gather as much data as possible, test, hypothesize, adapt. The world is becoming ever more competitive, particularly in the tech world; you need every advantage you can get!

Techaloo : What do you think about techaloo.com?
Techaloo is doing a good job of proactively finding and showcasing new startups across Asia.

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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