Getting the Right Match is the Name of the Game at Setipe

2 mins read
February 5, 2014

It’s now February, which means Valentine’s Day is around the corner and it’s always an opportunity for companies to take advantage of the occasion. Setipe, the recently launched matchmaking service isn’t one to skip such a chance, it’s in the business of romance after all. Co-founder Razi Thalib spoke to DailySocial about Setipe’s plans and how the service has been received since it was launched late last year.

Thalib said that Setipe is planning to hold a matchmaking or dating show together with entertainment and variety site MBDC for Valentine’s Day in which participants will be matched with each other based on their Setipe scores, which means they all will have to have completed their profiles on the matchmaking site. Co-founder and lead of MBDC, Christian Sugiono, is an investor and head of marketing for Setipe.

Following the site’s launch last year, “almost 3/4 of the members have at least one match (most have multiple) and at least a quarter have started communication”, Thalib said. Perhaps running counter to many people’s perception about dating or matchmaking sites, Setipe has a 60:40 ratio of female to male members. There were concerns at the beginning that women wouldn’t generally want to join such a site but this ratio seems to have allayed those fears, especially as Setipe maintains the list of its members in confidence.

However, the decision to match people based on profiles instead of opening the membership base for all to see is not without its challenges. “Matching in Setipe.com occurs by connecting people based on demographic, personal preferences, personality and compatibility factors”, Thalib explained. Aside from having more female members on his site than males, “another challenge is adopting the social constructs that exist in Indonesia and manage how they play out in Setipe’s 20,000 strong member base”.

Setipe was covered relatively widely in various publications and television shows across the country in the past two months. While this is generally seen as a positive factor for most product launches, it handed Setipe an issue that it has to deal with rather quickly, namely, matching members based on their wide range of locations.

The media coverage “contributed to a much wider social net than we anticipated”, Thalib commented. “It would be easier to match people of the same location, age range and socio-economic status. Now we have to quickly figure out how to manage this delicate balance moving forward”.

Setipe has automated all of its matchmaking process but the team continues to tweak and optimize its algorithm to deliver better matches. Despite this, “we currently have mechanisms in place to manually intervene (in the short term) if the match numbers suddenly take a dive”, Thalib said.

At the launch event, Setipe ran a speed dating session and it was mentioned that the site may run it again in the future. Despite being counter to the fundamentals of the service, Thalib said back then that it’s a fun event and could bring attention and interest to the site, so he and his team will carefully consider future sessions.

Today however, Thalib has a different perspective on speed dating sessions. “We’re evaluating the possibility of sponsorship and perhaps look at these events as a revenue stream – at least until we’re satisfied with the matchmaking experience enough to confidently introduce premium service and pay-to-contact features to our members”.

“Right now though we’re 100% focused on helping people find the right match, finding optimal matching scenarios and also getting more people to join our service”.

[header image from Shutterstock]

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