LunchMatcher is a new application that allows business professionals to “match” the place and time of their lunch in order to meet and network.
The application is currently only available in some business hubs around Dubai, and users’ information is automatically pulled in from their LinkedIn profiles, further emphasising the “business socalising” aspect.
Kippreport, sister title of GulfRetail, caught up with Aiman Kabli, co-founder of LunchMatcher, who explained exactly how the application works and detailed its true value.
Could you explain, in your words, how the application works?
The intention has always been to make an easy-to-use app. Users quite simply select what time they want to go for lunch and which restaurants they want to have lunch at, and the app does the LunchMatcher magic.
The app remembers your previous day’s settings, if you normally have lunch in the same area and at the same time.
We do allow a user to choose not to match with people in their own company as well as an option to not match with a person that they have previously matched with.
As we get more feedback from our members, we will add features to maintain a positive experience from the app.
What level of investment has been put into creating and launching the app?
Between the co-founders, we have spent almost $28,000.
The spending has been for market research, app development, business development and marketing. We even hired a physiologist to consult on the aspect of the app.
Why is the UAE a good place for this app?
Well, first of all, the co-founders are based here and we wanted our app to be “made in the UAE”.
Furthermore, this app is beneficial anywhere where there is a concentration of business professionals in one area.
Dubai offers a few of these types of areas, including, but not limited to, Dubai Media/Internet City and DIFC.
Why would you think that this is what professionals are looking for here?
According a recent statistic, there are approximately 45,000 employees in Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City and Knowledge Village.
Based on our own research, more than 80 per cent of the Dubai expat population are interested in business networking.
Additionally, LinkedIn claims to have 400 million members with a goal of reaching three billion members – and they are growing by two members per second.
Where is the app available and what fees do members have to pay to subscribe, download or use it?
The app is free to download from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.
How do you ensure that the information you provide is safe – the privacy of all information?
All information is from the user’s public LinkedIn profile and a user’s profile is only shared with another user once a successful match is made.
Is this app just for users in Dubai or the whole country?
We are currently testing the app in popular office blocks in Dubai to make use of the proximity of business buildings and cafes in those areas. We are rapidly growing the user base of the app so that users in any part of the country will easily find other users to match with for lunch and have a great experience.
There is an option on the app to “purchase credit”. What would a user utilise this for?
Credits are used to facilitate continued use of the app to the user’s liking: for example, a user would lose points if they “reject” a match given by the app or do not show up for the lunch. In this case, the user may eventually need to replenish their point amount. Points can also be earned within the app by setting availability daily and sharing the app on social media.
Do you have plans to spread across the GCC area?
Yes, we plan to grow into major GCC cities and eventually all major cosmopolitan cities around the world, as [the app] can benefit anyone anywhere looking to grow their network.
Can people meet at any time or just during lunch hours?
Currently, the time frame of the app is confined to lunch hours, at which time most people have a flexible time slot in their schedule to leave the office and meet a new person. After people meet and connect for the first time using the app, they could then set up further meetings to catch up as they wish.
This article was first published on Kippreport, a sister title of GulfRetail
The post LunchMatcher: New app for effective networking appeared first on Gulf Retail.
Source: Press Release