Launched in January 2013, iBluebottle is a matrimonial website that is trying to create a niche by positioning itself against the existing matrimonial websites via its pricing and detailed profile verification process, by targeting professionals who only fit a particular eligibility criteria.
Speaking to Medianama, iBluebottle Co-founder Akhilesh Sharma said that the website was started to cater to professionals who don’t have time to go through hundreds of unverified profiles on the existing matrimonial websites. When asked about the significance of the website’s name – iBluebottle, Sharma said that Blue bottle is a flower that people wear when in love. We found the name to be rather corny for a matrimonial website that claims to cater to an elite crowd.
Membership & Match-making process
iBluebottle claims to have around 2,000 registered members, of which 70%-80% of them are MBA graduates and 10% are Chartered Accountants. Sharma said that they accept members only after a detailed registration and verification process, following which members have to take a personality test that will be used to shortlist prospective matches, which will be sent to them every Friday. Its worth noting that unlike its competitors, iBluebottle currently does not allow users to randomly browse through existing profiles on their website.
iBluebottle claims to verify the registration information of each member, which includes verifying their work place and public profiles. Sharma said that profile verification of each member takes around a week, following which the profile goes live on their website.
The company also conducts a second level of verification through proof of identity documents, when a member wishes to contact another member. With several identity frauds in the past on other matrimonial websites, lack of random browsing of profiles and profile verification could be useful features differentiating iBluebottle from the rest.
While both Bharat Matrimony and Shaadi.com provide profile verification services, we found the verification process at iBluebottle to be more detailed and transparent than its competitors.
Sharma said that members can view prospective matches free of cost, however one needs to sign up for a subscription package if they intend to contact any of these matches or reply to a contact request. iBluebottle currently offers its services through two different subscriptions – a 3 month subscription priced at Rs 5,000 ($150 for members outside India) and a 6 month subscription priced at Rs 7,000 ($250 for members outside India).
In comparison, both Bharat Matrimony and Shaadi.com currently offer paid services starting at Rs 3,290 for a 3 month subscription, however its worth noting that both these sites allows users to randomly browse through various user profiles on the site. Bharat Matrimony also has similar exclusive match making service called Elite Matrimony which targets aristocrats and celebrities among others and does not allow random profile browsing. While the company doesn’t offer any specific information on pricing, a thread on Complaints Board indicates that the company had quoted between Rs 40,000 to 70,000 for 3 months to 6 months of membership.
Scalability? It would interesting to see how iBluebottle plan to scale its services considering that it is targeting a niche user base at a relatively low pricing. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if the company hikes its prices significantly in the future. We are also a bit curious to see if the company will be able to maintain the same quality and the detailed profile verification process on scaling. If it is able to manage quality with scale, the company might actually have something different from what the existing online matching services have to offer.