Apadmi Venture JigTalk launches in London
by Apadmi|Wed Feb 13 2019
Recently we invested in a revolutionary blind-dating app that reverts to the old adage: “it’s what’s inside that counts”. Last month, after trialling and perfecting the solution, JigTalk went live on the App Store for singles in London.
With the original prototype, their team amassed over 10k users for the app in just a few weeks, getting people to talk more rather than simply swipe left.
They went on to raise almost half a million pounds of investment, and in 2017 became the first UK start-up to be accepted into Nasdaq’s Entrepreneurial Centre in San Francisco.
“We were introduced to founders Alex and Max through our network as part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme. We knew straight away that they were exceptional entrepreneurs with the drive, maturity, work ethic and insight that would make their app a success. JigTalk presents an innovative new way of dating to the masses – one focussed on personality, a definite move away from the more superficial alternatives.” - Howard Simms, Director of Strategic Partnerships and former Apadmi Ventures CEO.
Now, with the solution on track to roll out to the rest of the UK, co-founder Alex Durrant sat down with us to “talk more” about where JigTalk came from, how we’ve helped them and where they’re headed.
Q: Where did the idea originate?
“Max, my co-founder – it was his 50th idea that week! Tinder had hit his university campus and while it was huge, people just didn’t message enough. It was obvious there was a need for a dating platform where the communication was based on messaging. It was a big problem in an equally big market. The solution? Gamify the messaging process.”
Q: How did you first discover Apadmi Ventures?
“We were introduced to Howard Simms through a mutual friend/business contact. When we approached that initial introduction, it was about getting the core business of Apadmi on board as a service provider, but we later discovered Apadmi Ventures and it was fate. A matter of months later and they were investment partners.”
Q: Why did you decide to join up with us?
“First, their validated technical expertise. It’s been extremely valuable for Max and I that who don’t have an illustrious background in tech. From Apadmi’s prestigious enterprise clientele down to their internal processes, they’re an impressive outfit that we want JigTalk to be associated with. Second, the people – I’m yet to meet a single person in the Apadmi family I couldn’t have more than 3 beers with.”
Q: How did we initially help you?
“Apadmi reviewed and then re-built our iOS application from the poor BETA product it once was. We’d had it built by a third party elsewhere – you get what you pay for, that’s all I’ll say!”
Q: How important was the technical due diligence element of JigTalk?
“Extremely – it gave security to the founding team, as well as existing and incoming investors, so we’ve always seen it as an important level of value in having Apadmi Ventures onboard.”
Q: How has your relationship with us developed over time?
“We got on very well with Howard from day one, and since then even more personal relationships have developed across JigTalk and Apadmi. This has resulted in our team learning and engaging with the Apadmi team on a regular basis, which is invaluable to us.”
“In this business it’s people, people, people, and I have a feeling we’ll work with the Apadmi team for a long time.”
Q: What have been the turning points or highlights of the JigTalk journey so far that have contributed to your success?
“I think a turning point was our first seed investment in November 2016 – it was our persistence that made it happen and it allowed Max and I to go full-time on the project. A highlight for me has to be travelling to San Francisco and completing an acceleration programme with NASDAQ – the data-driven growth strategy we took away has been adopted as gospel at JigTalk ever since.”
Q: What do you see as the ultimate goal for JigTalk?
“For the world to talk more. We strive to be the dating application with the highest message response rate, and therefore the highest quality engagement metrics.”
Q: What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt about starting a business?
“Everything takes longer than you think – that’s OK, just allow for it.”
Q: What piece of advice would you give to entrepreneurs wanting to start a tech business?
“Life as an entrepreneur is full of intensive pits and peaks – you need to learn to roll with this resiliently. Become a humble learning machine and never will there be a day that you haven’t improved yourself, whatever business you’re creating.”