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Connecting Interesting, Like-Minded, Urban Singles

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sumesh Menon, CEO & Co-Founder, WOO

Sumesh Menon, CEO & Co-Founder of Woo is the MD and Co-founder of U2opia Mobile, a Singapore-based mobile technology start-up that builds mobile applications catering across the spectrum of handsets. In his current role, Sumesh heads business operations for the 200-member strong organization, spread across 30 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. While helming U2opia Mobile’s exponential growth, Sumesh also conceptualised and incubated its smartphone offering, Woo, which gives users a platform to connect with interesting, like-minded, urban singles in their city. With its USPs of a highly curated community, circle of trust and hyper-local nature of connections, Woo is the leading matchmaking app in India, making over 10,000 matches per day and a user base of 850,000 that is growing fast.

What drives you?
A challenge that others would walk away from, and knowing there is always room for improvement.

How big is the potential for a business like yours?
In relation to the Western markets or China, dating sector in India is still small. But it has massive potential. For our target group of 24 and above, we estimate the market to be around 20 mn users today growing to 50 mn in 3 years. Contrary to popular belief, our business is less dependent on social acceptance; it is dependent on how many young independent professionals enter the workforce in big cities.

It’s not all that hard to monetize, what is hard is how to run an internet business that is built for scale. That would mean forcing yourself to work with high quality, lean teams with the ability to scale user base in a nonlinear fashion. It is not easy but that should really be the mission of any internet business.
We had 20,000 users in the first month of launch and we are now over 3 million downloads.

How do you plan to scale up; raise funds through seed or venture capital or simply grow the old fashioned way through rising turnovers?
It all depends on where you are and where you want to go and how fast you want to get there. As long as you are in the driver seat either of the two models are fine.

Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
We target 24 + old professionals who are financially independent, living in top tier cities of urban India.

Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
Helping young entrepreneurs succeed and create new ventures.

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