The dating app by Vana from 'The Apprentice' that uses games to match people! 20,000 sign ups so far!
Please note that whilst the campaign is labelled as EIS eligible the Company has £150,000 remaining of its SEIS limit. We will, therefore, be looking to seek SEIS relief on the first £150,000 invested into the campaign and EIS relief on the balance. Any tax relief is dependent on personal circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.
DatePlay combines two of today's biggest mobile trends: dating and gaming. We use easy, fun to play games to learn more about you and increase the quality of the matches we can make. It's a new concept that has the potential to redefine the online dating market.
CEO Vana Koutsomitis is an experienced entrepreneur who is passionate about connecting people. Runner up on The Apprentice 2015, Vana pitched the DatePlay concept in the final of the programme and received great acclaim for her idea. Since then, Vana and her team of industry experts have been working to perfect the product.
We are in the final stage of building our app, and are gearing to launch in the autumn. In this crowdfunding campaign, we are seeking additional funds to cover our costs through the launch phase and enable us to reach as many new users as possible.
We would be delighted for you to join us on this exciting journey to change the way that people date online!
Our experience tells us that there is a simple problem with existing online dating options: they provide either a high quality user experience or a good match, but not both.
Platforms such as Tinder provide a great user experience but they only match on superficial criteria such as age and location. You might meet your perfect partner on these sites, but you'll have to spend a long time scrolling through sub-par matches.
Platforms such as eHarmony provide great matches, but the need for long self disclosure questionnaires damages the user experience. You might meet your perfect partner on these sites, but there is a chance that he or she was too busy to answer the pages and pages of personal questions needed to register fully, or was put off from registering by the poor user experience.
We have designed DatePlay to solve this trade-off problem. By combining our dating platform with a gaming component, we believe that we can make the app more fun than competitor products. With the help of our scientifically designed proprietary algorithms, we will use the results of our games to make better matches for our users.
We firmly believe that our combination of dating and gaming optimises both the user experience and the quality of match. Users will no longer have to choose between the two less than perfect options currently on the market. We believe that this is going to change the way that people date online.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Since Vana's pitch on The Apprentice, we have secured office space at Wayra, recruited a team of industry experts, and worked hard to develop the DatePlay app.
The DatePlay app in is the final stage of development. Our experienced Product Advisor Ivan has been working with leading UX designers and a professional software development agency to build a beautiful product with a seamless user experience.
We have also been working hard to design engaging games and to perfect our scientifically designed proprietary algorithm, which uses the data we get from the games to help us find your perfect match.
We plan to launch the app for beta testing in early autumn, with a full roll out and marketing launch to coincide with the next series of The Apprentice on BBC1 later this year.
We have already recruited over 20,000 sign ups who can't wait to get started on the app, and our user numbers continue to rise day by day.
DatePlay will be free to download - we want to bring the potential of dating and gaming to as many people as possible.
Free users will get one match per day, with a messaging facility to connect them to their match and start a conversation. Users who want more than our basic one match per day service will be able to access unique value add features through a monthly subscription and other pay per access features, such as daily service upgrades
Free users will have all the benefits of our innovative dating and gaming concept. Premium users will be able to access features such as increased messaging, messaging into new locations, invitation to exclusive events and more.
Use of proceeds
We already have committed funding to enable us to complete our product build. We expect that our remaining costs through the launch phase of our app will be no more than £112,500, which we will be met through this campaign.
We are planning to launch in Autumn 2016, to coincide with The Apprentice 2016. Thanks to CEO Vana Koutsomitis' appearance on The Apprentice we expect to have significant free public relations support for our launch.
We have been working closely with Facebook UK's team and have developed an exciting social media strategy which will help us leverage this publicity. We are also planning a series of exciting launch events in major cities to recruit as many users as possible.
The money raised in this campaign will go straight into this launch budget, enabling us to reach as many users as possible. The more users we have, the more likely it is that we will be able to find your perfect match!
The company has £15,000 outstanding loans to the directors. None of the proceeds of investment are intended to be used to repay this.
DatePlay's target market is the 18-24 demographic; our research tells us that these users are being under-served by the existing players in the online dating market.
The 18-24 demographic are digital natives who spend, on average, over 90 hours per week on a smartphone. They have grown up using smartphone apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, and have become sophisticated consumers of digital products. They are quickly frustrated by products that do not provide both exceptional service and an exceptional user experience.
The 18-24 demographic is just beginning to enter the online dating market, and our research suggests that they are just as frustrated as we are with current online dating options, which force them to choose between the user experience and quality of match.
Our research shows that, as yet, no dating app has captured the attention of this 18-24 year olds to become the dominant platform for the cohort. Therefore, there is a big market opportunity here.
We believe that DatePlay will give this demographic a better online dating product. We have spent 6 months researching the factors that will make an app successful in this market, and are feeding this research back into our product development. We are building our app specifically for the 18-24 market, with a user experience designed to meet their mobile interaction preferences and a matching algorithm that weights the compatibility factors that they feel are most important in a partner.
And there's one more thing: 18-24 year olds typically spend 11% of their screen time on gaming apps. Therefore, we believe that a dating product that offers games as part of the user experience will have a significant advantage in this demographic. DatePlay fits this profile perfectly.
Characteristics of target market
The need to connect with people and form relationships is a universal human need. As we conduct more and more of our lives online, online dating is becoming a more important way to meet new people.
The online dating market is estimated to be worth in excess of $2.5bn, and is growing year on year. According to Match Group, the addressable market for online dating is currently 511 million people worldwide, but predicted to grow to 672 million people by 2019.
We estimate that the market for online dating among 18-24 year olds today comprises over 100 million potential users. If we were to be able to win 5% of our core demographic, that would equate to 5 million potential registered users for DatePlay.
We already have over 20,000 sign ups, so we know that DatePlay is gaining traction in the market. The challenge for us now is to ensure that we take full advantage of the launch phase to get our message out to as many users as possible.
In order to be successful within our target demographic, we cannot rely on traditional marketing techniques. 18-24 year olds are sophisticated consumers of online media and expect to find out about new products through social media update feeds and word of mouth recommendations from online friends.
Working with Facebook's UK team, we have exciting plans to optimise our marketing strategy to reach these users through social media campaigns, live events, celebrities and influencers, to reach our target demographic.
We have committed funding to enable us to build the app. Funding from this Seedrs campaign will go straight into our launch, marketing and social media budget, helping us to get our message out to as many users as possible.
Dating apps are highly cohort specific: they tend to attract certain age groups and those users age with time. Platforms such as Happn, Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel have an ageing user base, and continue to concentrate on those core users, which we believe leaves a gap in the 18-24 demographic.
The 18-24 cohort could become the most valuable users within 5-10 years times. However, we believe that this age group is currently an under served market and there is no dominant platform for them. That is where we come in.
We believe that our innovative concept of dating and gaming can make DatePlay a huge success in this target demographic. However, we need your help. By investing in this crowdfunding campaign, you will be helping us to fund the launch and marketing activities we need to get our message out!