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

Finweek English Edition - - INSIDE -

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

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