Friday 28 July 2017

Like meddling in your single friends love lives? There’s an (Irish) app for that

Creators of 'LuvGuru' are hoping to make online dating more social

Jason Kennedy

Jason Kennedy

Tinder, watch out! There's a new app in town hoping to become the world leader in online dating.

"The most common way people meet their long-term partner is through mutual friends," says Liam Grant, the co-creator of LuvGuru.

"That's what we're trying to play off and bring that to a digital platform."

What makes this app unique, is that you can't just swipe right or click a profile to find a potential partner, but rather a mutual friend must recommend you to each other. This is the app equivalent off giving your happily-partnered friend a go of your Tinder account while out in the pub so they can finally see what it's like.

So far, the app has proved quite popular, with around 2,000 users since they opened in the app store less than a month ago. They already know of a few successful dates that were set up through their new creation.

Mr Grant and his fellow creator Louisamay Hanrahan are no strangers to playing Cupid, having grown in in the home of matchmaking, Lisdoonvarna. For Liam, His hometown's reputation for helping singletons find their match inspired him to give it a lash himself.

"I guess it was mostly inspired by the culture of matchmaking that would have existed in Ireland. I heard that there used to be a matchmaker in every town and they would have a big, old book and set you up with someone through that," he told Independent.ie.

"I thought that was kind of funny, but kind of cool, so we're trying to set that up again."

Not only do potential matchmakers get the chance to download a dating app, but if they match a few couples, they will be rewarded with prizes.

"At the moment we've been approaching other start-up businesses in Ireland to get weekly and monthly prizes from them," Mr Grant said.

"At the last party we had, we presented prizes to matchmakers from Modern Botany, a company based in West Cork who make all natural oils. We think it's a good partnership opportunity."

So far, one of the biggest problems facing the five-person LuvGuru team, who are based in Dublin 8, is trying to get people in relationships to download the app and set up their friends.

"People have a misgiving when I explain the concept. They go 'no sorry, I'm in a relationship' or 'my wife won't like that' and they shut it off immediately like it's another Tinder.

"We want to make it clear that it's an entirely different thing."

Despite these troubles, Mr Grant is sure his new business is going to take the dating world by storm.

"A lot of other dating sites, you're generally on it alone and you're looking through people alone and you're not really interacting with your friends very much," he said.

"So that [interaction] what we want to achieve and I think we can do it.

"We can be a billion dollar company."

LuvGuru is available now on both Android and iOS.

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