Matchmaking wins over dating apps

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Online matrimony remains a growing segment despite apps, says Matrimony.com CEO

Chennai, April 10

Online traditional matchmaking portals are preferred despite the advent of dating apps that are positioned as a preliminary step to matrimony, according to J Murugavel, founder and Chief Executive Officer, Matrimony.com, an online matchmaking website.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Murugavel said despite the advent of dating apps, online matrimony segment is growing every year as India’s socio-economic structure has not yet taken to dating . Matrimony.com had launched a dating app ‘Matchify’, two years ago but was shut down a year later.

“We launched the app as we did not want to miss out on the disruption dating apps were causing. We invested close to ₹13 crore ($2 million),” he said.

But many women signed up on the platform. “We also felt it was not serving the purpose with which it was started, facilitating meetings with the intention of marriage. So I decided to switch back to our core business, which is online matchmaking,” he said.

Number of profiles in Matrimony.com grew 20 per cent last fiscal and at any point of time there are three million active users. Murugavel said, “We also noticed that over 80 per cent of the profiles were created by individuals rather than parents.”

Indian wedding market is growing at the rate of 25-30 per cent and estimated at $54 billion in India, excluding the jewellery industry. Around 12 million marriages happen across India annually.

Matrimony.com has a market share of 60 per cent in online marriage services in India. “We do about 50,000 wedding per month. The company is scaling up its photography and marriage services like catering and marriage hall bookings from Chennai, Madurai, Trichy and Coimbatore to other districts of Tamil Nadu. But these services are restricted to people who find matches through the platform.

The company has partnered with over 3,000 vendors for different services, which are available at a subsidised rate. But each offering has a service fee of ₹500. “But there is an assurance of 10 per cent reduction in overall wedding services through our platform,” he said.

Online match-making accounts for about 90 per cent of company’s revenue and the rest from marriage services, which the company aims to push in coming years.

“We are now looking to strengthen North and West market,” Murugavel said. Murugavel said there are plans to do initial public offering by March 2018.

Published on April 10, 2017

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