Two locals are banking on finding love and launching a business in a billion dollar industry—online dating. Co-founders Sunmeet Gill, of La Jolla, and Ravinder Singh launched Luvia.com on Valentine’s Day in San Diego, where 31 percent of the population is single. The duo hopes to find love and grow the dating site to additional markets in the next year.
Gill spoke openly with Patch about his use of online dating websites and how he thought to improve the experience. He said many online dating websites charge a large membership fee upfront. Match.com has an upfront fee that you can't see until you join and eHarmony charges anywhere from $19.95 per month with a 12-month subscription to $59.95 per month for a one-month subscription.
Gill and Singh created the Luvia.com with an alternative pay model. Gill explained that Luvia.com offers a pay-per-use model with free sign up. The more you use, the more you pay. The pay-use-model allows users to use the website without a monthly membership fees, which is great if you find love after a few days, weeks or months.
You can buy credits as you go or earn credits by participating on the website. Luvia.com incentivizes users to interactive with other users. Singles earn “credits” for completing their profile and contacting other members. The more active you are on the site, the more free "LuvNotes" or Luvia's virtual currency you earn to connect with other singles.
Even with all the free options, Gill estimates users can expect to pay between $10 and $30 per month while using Luvia.com, with no long-term subscriber requirements.
“It is all about the user experience from the time you join to the time you find a relationship,” said Gill.
Singh said more and more singles are relying on the Internet to find love. Luvia, like many online dating websites, would not disclose its membership numbers.
“Our dating algorithms allow users to find out additional information about other singles, such as how often they are active or if they respond to messages received, helping singles save time before making a connection with a possible soul mate,” Singh said.
The two have worked closely with numerous Fortune 500 companies and tech-based start-ups.
Singh has more than 10 years of experience as a technology consultant. His clients have included HP and Motorola. He earned a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California. And has worked as a graduate research assistant on computer architecture designs, and has produced and co-hosted a weekly radio show on KLOK 1170 AM in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Gill also earned a masters of science degree in electrical engineering from the UCS. He has more than 11 years experience as a software architect and project manager.