Tinder for business: Geomingle wants to send you on a ‘date’

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Londoners have embraced the dating app with such passion that an Egyptian entrepreneur has built a spin off, which he hopes will have an equally attractive force on them.

“Dating for business reasons is what the app is for. Getting people to meet for business reasons and connecting,” Mostafa Hashem told Wamda.

Alexandria-born Hashem launched the Geomingle in 2015, after moving to the UK to study for an MBA at Coventry University two years prior. He calls the app a cross between dating app Tinder and business networking site Linkedin.  

For example, at London’s Gatwick Airport the app welcomes the user and displays profiles and other users’ interests at the same location.

Like Tinder and Ok Cupid, Geomingle’s interface does not allow users to communicate without both parties agreeing, and it’s in fairly wide use already: it works in London’s major airports and train stations, as well as central London, Coventry and Birmingham. It was launched in the Middle East in 2016; it has active users in the UAE and Egypt, and is being tested in Bahrain.

Future revenue is anticipated to come from paid ads and pushed messages from businesses and venues.

The app has over 8,000 users, half of those being in Dubai, but is still in the beta phase.

“It is currently working in Smart Village in Egypt, with 300 active profiles, mainly at a trial phase,” Hashem said.

There are any number of rivals in this competitive field. Reach, Golinum and IoD Advance in London are just three of the similar location-based networking apps available, while there are any number of social apps which will find existing friends or strangers.

Hashem, left, tested the app at Web Summit in Dublin in 2015. (Image via Splento)

Not his first time

Geomingle isn’t Hashem’s first startup.

He joined the wave of entrepreneurial activity after Egypt’s January 25 revolution, launching Forsetna in 2011, a remote employment site initially targeting Egyptians, before expanding to the UAE. Self-funded, it wasn’t long before he attracted an angel investor and a Dubai-based venture capital firm, before selling in 2013 to Aljal Capital, a Dubai private equity firm. He moved to the UK to study for an MBA from Coventry University.

Hashem says launching a business in London is very different to setting one up in Egypt.

“In the UK, incubators and accelerators pursue [startups], whereas in Egypt, startups [have to] work harder to get incubators’ attention.”

Geomingle was developed at Coventry’s Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship but funded by another of Hashem’s businesses, analytics, big data and business intelligence consultancy Smartlytics Consultancy.

Summayyah Hussain, enterprise officer at Coventry University Social Enterprise, told Wamda she believed Hashem had the skills to make Geomingle grow internationally.

“It is already hard setting up a startup in the UK without being new to the country, let alone working hard and adjusting to the surrounding community.”

Business dating

Hashem said Geomingle was being used for several purposes, including meeting cofounders and investors, for recruitment, and general networking for business connections in general.

“Different cities employ the app for different reasons. For example, Dubai and Bahrain tend to use the app for recruitment and connecting, while in Egypt, people look out more for the networking part,” Hashem said.

A new feature, Geofeeds, added a news feed and location-based updates and they’re developing the ability to include messages or announcements pushed by the locations themselves.

“We are following Google’s way in developing its technology, by taking as much time as we can,” the founder said. “Once it’s 80-90 percent ready with little to no bugs, we will push it in the market. We would like to build credibility around it.”

Feature image via Geomingle.

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