Start-ups: Understanding Kiril Dobrev
Through technology the world has become an incredibly connected place with ’social networking’ being the catchphrase of the current generation. We chat to co-founder and entrepreneur Kiril Dobrev who is re-inventing the online social space through his soc
As recent graduates having just started our own business, we realised how our social lives completely changed. Meeting new people becomes a lot more difficult when most of your time is spent at work. This instigated an ongoing discussion between ourselves, which came to the conclusion that the best way to meet people is in low-pressure social situations (like going to a braai for instance). We wanted to recreate the way people met organically by creating these shared experiences. So after looking at a few business models, we noticed that there has been this kind of shift from online to offline social networking. It was this that sparked the flame for Weaver. While traditional online dating has taken off in markets such as the US and the UK, this has not been the case in South Africa.
We identified several core issues that we believe are putting people off of traditional online dating. Most dating platforms require users to create their own profiles, which is not only timeconsuming (in some cases there are hundreds of questions) but it means there is no transparency. People are required to mechanically browse through profiles and message other users; this experience is dehumanising and generally ineffective. We noticed that females also tend to receive a flood of messages from guys who are often quite creepy. Then there is the issue of safety when someone asks you to meet them.
All of these factors pushed us in the direction of pairing up groups.
We wanted to make a service-oriented business that was fun, social, and all about being matched rather than choosing. The idea is to get people away from their computers and out into the real world. Traditional online dating is yet to gain mainstream acceptance in SA and Africa. We believe that we’re positioning ourselves to own this space by creating experiences that are far more pleasant