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Cherry Popped!

TrulyMadly, an online dating app has raised INR 35 crores from Helion Venture Partners and Kae Capital. The company told Medianama that the funds will be used to build a social network for singles in India, invest in developing original content and invest heavily in bolstering their product and tech team. They added that they plan to grow to 5 million users by next year. Currently, TrulyMadly claims to have 200,000 users out of which 60% are active every month. They’ll be working on features like “social endorsements” to build a user’s “trust score” (explained below). They’re also planning to introduce an “ask a friend” feature for women to get feedback from friends on their matches.

A little over 7 months old, TrulyMadly was founded by Sachin Bhatia (co-founder MakeMyTrip.com), Hitesh Dhingra (founder, Letsbuy) and Rahul Kumar (ex-AVP, Product, MakeMyTrip.com). TrulyMadly lets users discover each other via shared interests and profiles. The company claims that it promises safe online dating for women.

The psychology of dating

Users can login through Facebook, LinkedIn or create an account through email, select 5 hashtags to describe themselves and take personality quizzes after which they get verified. Psychometric profiling is one of the methods which TrulyMadly uses to match its users. A “trust score” (proprietary tool) is assigned to all users when they sign up. This profile verification system does not activate unless the user reaches at least a 33% score. The trust score is boosted by adding copies of users’ PAN card, Passport, Voter I-cards and employment verification. The higher the trust score, the higher the number of matches suggested to them. Its advisory team includes psychologists, a psychometrician and a therapist.

Interestingly, the app rejects users whose Facebook profile marriage status says that they’re married. This is done in order to ensure that only singles use the app. The company said that they reject ~12% profile photos a day. Only “convincing” users are allowed on the app, reducing or eliminating fake profiles. TrulyMadly claims that women make up over 35% of its app downloaders.

Previously, TrulyMadly has seen funding from angel investors Deep Kalra (Founder & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip), Rajesh Magow (Co-founder & CEO MakeMyTrip India) and Manish Vij (Founder, Tyroo).

Competition

Thrill: People Group, which owns Shaadi.com, Makaan.com and Mobango, acquired 25% stake in dating app Thrill for Rs 6 crore in a cash and stock deal earlier this year. As part of the deal, People Group’s dating website Fropper.com merged with Thrill.
Woo: According to this article in the Times of India, Woo claims to have had 12,000 matches on the app between July and September 2014.
Other players: Tinder, DesiCrush, Krify, OkCupid, Floh, Vee, SinglesAroundMe, QuackQuack

Note: The headline has been edited to clarify that the funds aren’t just for developing a social network.