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Now an online dating app for Kannadigas as more regional platforms emerge

After the launch of first vernacular dating platform in India called Arike for Malayalam-speaking audience, the regional dating space has expanded to three more language specific dating platforms for Telugu, Tamil and Kannada-speaking audience.

May 31, 2022 / 04:44 PM IST
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The online dating market in India is seeing rise of regional platforms as more and more language-specific dating apps emerge. After vernacular dating apps for Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu speaking audiences, now there is a platform for Kannada speaking singles.

With digital adoption being high in the southern markets and experts pointing out that people in the south are ready to spend on lifestyle choices, the focus is on southern India to expand the regional dating space.

Online dating platform Aisle which launched vernacular dating apps including Arike, Anbe, and Neetho for Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu speaking audiences has now launched Neene for Kannadiga singles.

"About 20 percent of the entire India (online dating) market belongs to Bengaluru alone. The whole of Karnataka is 25-30 percent of the overall market. The dating space is valued at Rs 10,000 crore (in India)," Able Joseph, Founder, and CEO, of Aisle, told Moneycontrol. 

Recently, tech company Info Edge acquired a 76 percent stake in Aisle for Rs 91 crore. At the time of the announcement, Joseph had said that the funds from Info Edge which runs Jeevansathi will be used to further strengthen Aisle’s position in the high-intent dating market in India.


He added that they will be trying and pulling from the matrimony bracket into the dating space. "Karnataka (online dating) market is pegged at Rs 300 crore. While Aisle is focused on English-speaking folks, Neene is focused more on tier II, III users."

The new platform Neene which means only you aims to onboard one million users in 12 months.

"It is in line with other vernacular apps. For Arike (launched in March last year), we will add 1.2-1.3 million users in a few months from now. Neetho is going to hit a million users in another three months," Joseph said.

He said that the strategy of vernacular dating apps is working because in the next two years the expectation is that they will contribute more than Aisle in terms of overall revenue. "Currently they have a double-digit mark (contribution) and growing faster than Aisle," he said.

While the company plans to add more regional dating platforms, Joseph said that managing five different brands is difficult.

"Unless we add on to the team, I don't think we can launch another one. We need to find talent before we can bite more. But optimisation is key only then can we grow. Otherwise, we will be like any other startup that hires 300 people and fire 25 percent of the workforce."

When it comes to the viability of regional dating apps, industry players note that people from tier II and III markets are choosing their mother tongue when it comes to online dating, it's a long-term bet in terms of consumer spending as the ARPU (average revenue per user) is lower.

While the revenue coming from these users is less, experts said that the volumes are high which compensates for lower revenue, and added that the paying capacity of users from regional markets is improving.

In addition, experts say that there is a need for regional online dating platforms in the southern markets.
Maryam Farooqui
first published: May 31, 2022 04:44 pm
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