Pawan Gupta, CEO at Betterhalf.ai
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Pawan (CEO) and Rahul (CPO/CTO) met at MIT as acquaintances but bonded well when they lived together as roommates in San Francisco once they graduated. While Rahul's first engagement broke, Pawan used many matchmaking products and had a frustrating experience going through the partner search process.
It was a defining moment in their lives and scratched that piece of their psyche. They set out to fabricate a stage that goes on to make prescient matchmaking a reality.
Pawan graduated from MIT Sloan MBA Program and Rahul graduated from MIT CSAIL with a Computer Science degree. They have been friends for 6 years.
Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by Betterhalf.ai
BETTERHALF.AI: BUSINESS MODEL
- Free access to women
- Men pay a premium for access to following features:
Received request, Intro message, 2X profiles and now Sparkles
Our affordable Premium Membership benefits include:
• View Received Requests: Unlock/ view all your received requests instantly
• Instant matches: Claim up to 50 exclusive recommended profiles instantly
• Instant boost for 24 hours: Stand out from the crowd and get 10 times more profile visibility for 24 hours
• Personal note: Send a heartfelt note along with a connection request to put yourself in the spotlight.
Other features include:
• Sparkle: Get prominently featured on top of other connection requests and receive up to 10x better responses.
Great Companies: What makes Betterhalf.ai different from hundreds of other matrimony app's?
Today India has a varied number of matrimony apps. Betterhalf.ai has proved itself unique via various extraordinary features. Below are few:
They are the only platform without the direct involvement of parents.
A premium pool of working professionals from 25,000 companies of India, verified through selfie verification to ensure that the person in the picture is the same IRL. Profiles are regularly scrutinised to make sure they are genuine and looking for marriage.
Compatibility matching Based on a 2-min personality quiz and 16 behavioural traits, AI matches you with profiles that share the same thoughts as you and truly compliment your soul. With likes, dislikes and interests, apart from just looking into traditional way of matching on religion and caste
Single click matching (US Patent Application No. 16/777,773)
Introduced single-click matching with Facebook sign up to ensure faster onboarding. AI predicts matches based on your basic preferences.
Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?
Betterhalf.AI had almost shut down twice during its early days.The first approach the team took was collecting married couple’s data via marriage agencies. This failed due to data reliability and operational issues.The second time when we pivoted and got our product live, we couldn't get enough traction and find a good fit with invetors as the interested ones couldn't relate to our long-term vision.
Over the last one year at the peak of COVID-19, we had a limited runway for 2-3 months where the company fundraised for full 12-months and launched a brand new product in mid of hustle, grew revenues from $100k to $1M annual run rate, retain the employees and ultimately got into Y Combinator.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Betterhalf.ai?
Betterhalf.ai will continue to grow 3X among urban Indians and then grow further 2-3X with the product launch for NRIs in countries like USA, Canada, UAE, Australia, Singapore etc.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Lately there has been a lot of news about funding on startups. This could be overwhelming and could be a distraction to entrepreneurs starting up.
Fundraising is only 5% of the company execution but one should focus strongly on building products that customers engage, transact and drive revenues - this is usually 95% of the execution that is required to build the company in the early stages.