What’s In A Name?
As an impressionable young adult, have you imagined getting married?
Everything from the dress, venue, and people to your partner – someone who’s kind, attractive, and, most importantly, caring.
Then life happens, leaving you with wounds and fielding unseen enemies. And you don’t seem to meet anyone substantial. Your emotional baggage could obliterate the pacific ocean if you were to throw it there.
Society expectations, nosey family, far and near neighbours, and colony aunties have you apprehensive of meeting anyone.
You have work expectations and hardly any time to manage anything else. Your parents are looking for a potential match, but you never like pictures or references. They never align with what you desire. Does this sound familiar?
Have you met Betterhalf.ai, a product born out of necessity? The founders, Pawan and Rahul, met during their MIT days as roommates, and their friendship stuck.
The company resulted from a broken engagement and dissatisfaction with traditional matches chosen by parents. Months of poring over the conventional matchmaking sites led to the realisation that matches were not satisfactory and that most matchmaking sites were made for the parents.
But marriage is personal, and choices are individualistic. And the founders of Betterhalf.ai believed that individuals should be allowed to make their own choices via an app, giving them a more hands-on approach to matching with a compatible partner.
Based on this understanding, they launched Betterhalf.ai in May 2017. The app has received a US patent as the world’s fastest app for matching with a single click. Their mutual friend turned angel investor Priyanka Chaturvedi suggested the name Betterhalf. Pawan Gupta, one of the founders, added .ai to the name to participate in the AI boom.
When Ideation Matched With Functionality
Betterhalf.ai was initially a platform for marriage bureaus to share their databases and provide matches. It was designed to be a Rolodex of data for different companies; however, this business model wasn’t successful.
After 18 months of the initial launch, the founders decided to shake things up. They launched the app as India’s first matrimony app in 2019, designed exclusively for individuals to select their life partner without any interference from their family.
They used users’ databases to find their life partners, and this business model brought success to the company. The company’s revenue grew, which got the company into the Y combinator winter 21 batches. Initially started as a matchmaking service, the app has slowly gained feet and has become India’s first marriage super app. The app now offers courtship and wedding services like photography, catering, venue, decoration, and more. The company currently operates at 700K MAU and 2M annualised revenues and has 75 people.
Why Should You Swipe Right On Betterhalf.ai?
Betterhalf.ai is not just another matrimony app; it genuinely tries to understand the users.
During the onboarding process, users are asked to provide answers to 16 questions formulated by experts. These questions are intended to understand the user more profoundly. It is designed to accurately portray the user’s personality – emotional, social, intellectual, physical, relationships and values. These, for some, might be inconsequential, but they are the fundamental blocks many look for in a partner.
Depending on the answers provided by the user, the AI recommends the best matches for and to an individual. It shows users’ compatibility scores, helping them make an informed decision. The app also keeps track of the user’s behavioural pattern on requests sent and accepted and recommends accordingly. Only profiles with a compatibility score of 70% are matched.
Betterhalf.ai is aware of fake profiles on matrimonial sites and considers its users’ security a top priority. Users undergo a six-step verification process, including their mobile number, work email, personal email, Government ID, Facebook, and Linkedin. This ensures users have a safe experience.
The AI continuously looks for fake and scam profiles and deletes them, which is why selfie verification is a requisite, helping filter fake profiles.
Here’s What Their Bio Looks Like
There are 25M users in the leading 30 cities of India, and this number includes both online and offline in the Indian matrimony business. 1.5M annual verified users are signed up with Betterhalf, which is 6% of the overall market penetration. They aim to hit 10% by 2022 and 25% by 2024.
The platform was designed with the young, educated, and working segment of people in mind. The target age range is between 25-35 years, professionals keen to settle down. The users are people willing to take charge of their lives, individuals, who want to make the most important decision of their lives on their own, without the influence of parents.
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More users are looking for a life partner to support them personally and professionally. Currently, 95% of users belong to Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities in India, and the remaining 5% are users of international towns.
Compatibility Is Key
Betterhalf is successful because they understand that compatibility is the rock on which many successful marriages are built. Compatibility should be at the forefront when one wants to invest emotionally and long-term in a relationship.
Personal stories that merge with a business plan make for a significant motivator. And with experiences of meeting incompatible people in their search for their respective halves, the founders knew what was needed.
Nobody should have to settle for less, and they can achieve this with emotional, mental, social, and intellectual interests and shared values. That is what drives Betterhalf to keep pushing itself and becoming a pioneer.
Has The Indian Marriage Market Evolved?
Until recently, matchmaking and marriages were limited to one’s connection and reach. But with the rapid change in lifestyle, values, and thought processes among the youth, finding a match through the traditional medium is challenging.
Meeting people today contrasts with how our parents met people during their time. Social evolution, technological advancement, and unlimited access to social media allow the younger generation to seek others and connect with people beyond what was previously possible.
Young people are independent and career-driven and prefer to search for similar life partners, leading more users to matrimony sites and apps looking for the one.
What Does Betterhalf.ai Offer?
The industry has rapid in-built churn, fast onboarding, and customers who don’t stay beyond 12 months, making it difficult to get the desired funding. The industry is profitable, but for venture capitalists, it is not an ideal industry to fund.
It took three years of planning to build a one-stop shop for matchmaking to wedding services. However, YC saw the potential and financed the company. To receive funding, they had to create the product and brand before there were takers. The inclusion of wedding services has led to an increase in user journeys with the company.
As per data, Betterhalf.ai now see an increase of 24-36 months for users who sign up with them. The planning and implementation of these additions led to an interest in financing from venture capitalists.
Betterhalf.ai runs a subscription model with four offers on the platter. They charge users Rs.2499 for three months, Rs.2999 for six months, Rs. 3,999 for a year, and a lifetime package of Rs.5499. And the benefits and features offered depend on the package the user picks.
The company provides value-added services like sparkle, a paid messaging app, kundali matchmaking, marriage biodata, and wedding services. To make the search for a partner smoother, they added Human Matchmaker and Talk to Astrologer.
The company is operating at 2M annualised revenue and has seen an increase of more than double the amount within six months.
What Does The Future Hold For Betterhalf.ai?
They aim to be the super app in the Indian matrimony and wedding space. And intend to offer comfort and convenience to users, from finding a partner to deciding the wedding venue.
The company is on its way to building “India’s First and Only Marriage Super App for 100M people”. Its goal is to hit $1B in annual sales within the next five years and make its way to IPO, disrupting the $100B market, which is 3% of India’s GDP.
Their priority is to normalise conversations regarding marriages on social media. They also plan to launch a new Instagram and YouTube channel that raises awareness about Indian marriage rituals and traditions of various communities.
Betterhalf Radio launch is also in the pipeline and will talk about relationships, love, and marriages. They also plan to build 1IP with a significant content production company on the lines of a comedy marriage web series and syndicate it to a major OTT platform.