A new app is here to help to make online dating easier.
Oui,Meet launched at the end of 2021 with a mission to help users “stop swiping and start dating.” Founder Alicia Nicole said she was inspired to create the app while out with friends, lamenting over her abysmal dating prospects.
“I thought it would be really great if we could have a curated meet-up,” Alicia Nicole told Texas Metro News. “That’s how Oui,Meet came into fruition.”
Pronounced “we meet,” the name is a double entendre — referencing the French “oui” for “yes,” as well as the phonetic “we” for connections. The app is specifically designed to help minimize the time users spend messaging and maximize the amount of time they spend meeting — whether via video or in real life.
“We have so many different versions of the same app” in the marketplace, she said. With Oui,Meet, “rather than swiping and sending endless messages, you are out here, you are going on real-time dates.”
With the app, users can search for matches and coordinate live “Meet Ups” after checking in with their location.
“If you see a [profile] you…you send them a real-time meet request,” she said. If both users match, they have three chances to schedule a meeting at a location of their choice, ranging from a restaurant or coffee shop to a gym or festival.
The traditional swiping component is available on the app, as well, but with a twist. “Once you swipe and you match with somebody, your inbox is only open for five days,” Alicia Nicole explained. “If on day five, you haven’t had a video date through the app, the match is going to disappear.”
Shifting Into Opportunity
The pandemic wasn’t on anyone’s radar when Alicia Nicole first started development on the app at the top of 2020. “Before COVID… It was simply meet while you’re out. But in the very, very beginning stages, the world shut down. So, I had to figure out how to make the app still appealing. How do you still meet people if your city is shut down? So, this has been a work in progress.”
Inspired by pandemic challenges, Alicia Nicole is also developing a virtual component for those who are either stuck inside due to pandemic concerns or just prefer to be at home — yet still desire companionship.
“We are currently in the process of raising funds to build this first-of-its-kind component to the dating app industry,” she explained.
The shift also speaks to the changing dating market. According to Match’s “Singles In America” report, 71% of singles shared that video chatting helped them decide whether to meet up in person and 47% said it helps prevent bad dates.
“Again, it’s just about really getting out, meeting people, dating, and having some human interaction.”
From No Tech To Techpreneur
Alicia Nicole represents a third of U.S. entrepreneurs who work day jobs while building their dreams. For her, it’s a place of empowerment for both her venture and the team she has assembled.
Every day, I get up and go to my nine to five, I am making a corporate entity a lot of money,” she said. [S]o I’m just, keeping that in mind all the time: ‘I’m going to make somebody else rich today,’ definitely feeds me to come home and get straight back to doing whatever I have to do.”
Ironically, she doesn’t have a background in tech. She teamed with Dr. Koffa Toeque, a Black woman developer, to turn her idea into reality, recognizing the venture could generate tangible revenue.
The numbers are great across the board as Alicia Nicole taps into a market primed for growth. In 2020. 44.2 million people used online dating services, generating $602 million in revenue. Statista estimates that the number will reach 53.3 million users generating $755 million by 2024.
Alicia Nicole hopes to tap into that buying power and grow the brand big enough to be courted by other dating behemoths. Until then, she is hitting the proverbial pavement to get users on the app and meeting in real life.
She also wants to empower Black women while doing it. Her developer is a Black woman and she’s looking to build her entire team with Black and brown faces.
“Building with Black women, she said, will also be at the root of her work and legacy. I want my legacy to be that I really put on for black women. I’m trying to help us find love, help us create generational wealth, help us see the world, and build legacies.”
And, she added in a later conversation, “I want to make my mama proud.”
The Oui,Meet app can be downloaded on Google Play and Apple and is currently available in select cities, including DFW Metroplex, Houston, and Austin. Users who do not live in those areas are encouraged to sign up for launch alerts.
Learn more at ouimeet.app.