Didn’t find love using swipe dating apps
AN IRISH MAN who failed to find love using traditional dating apps has managed to meet Cupid after developing his own video dating site.
Frustrated at not being able to showcase his personality on swipe sites, Paul Numan decided to create Katch, a video dating app that simulates the experience of meeting someone for real.
The Wexford The native, 46, explained: “I’m not an eight or nine out of ten guy when it comes to looks. I say I’d be more of a five, half and half.
“When I was trying to meet women, I found that I would always perform better when I could relate to someone. I made them laugh, I chatted and they saw my personality, etc., and that’s that’s how I’ve always worked.
“In reality, most dating apps right now are just hitting people. If you look good, you’ll do well on these dating websitebut if you don’t look so good then it’s a bit difficult for most people.
Paul also found that typical swipe dating apps made it easy for people to misrepresent themselves because there was little visual interaction outside of a profile picture.
He explained: “I was on a date years ago from a dating app. I had been chatting with a girl for a long time.
“She said we’ll meet in Wicklow. So I said, ‘Sure, I’ll drive to Wicklow and meet you at a bar’. But when I went there, she was far from being as she had said.
“All of her photos were completely different. I wouldn’t have recognized her if she hadn’t just called out my name.
“And from that point on, I felt there was always something wrong with this industry, where you can do so much to hide yourself, when it comes to height, weight, visual presentation.
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“It’s very easy to lie or misrepresent yourself. So what I wanted to do with Katch was to make sure people could see the true reflection of the person they were talking to.
Paul launched Katch last year – and the move has paid off for the Wexford man, as his new business venture has also helped create new opportunity for his to like life.
In mid-August, the startup began hosting free beta testing events for the general public – that’s where Paul met 32-year-old Serbian Sanja Trbic.
Recounting the chance encounter, Paul said: “It’s really silly but it happened so fast and I was in test mode when she popped up in my chat and we just had a fun, relaxed conversation – it was as simple as that and it flowed.
“I never really thought about anything at the time because I was so busy, but after the video interaction I sat down and thought I had a date – that works.”
THE START OF SOMETHING SPECIAL
The couple’s first date was at the Crown bar in Wexford. This was followed by a number of follow up encounters and the dating phase then turned into a relationship.
Strong for over seven months now, Paul said: “We have so much in common and our outlook on life is the same – I guess you could say we just clicked.”
Paul said his dating app aims to help people go beyond just looking at someone’s face and tries to create introductions.
He said: “At the moment, dating apps only focus on one thing; the face.
“If someone doesn’t like someone’s face, they’re gone – but if they had met that person at a party or a nightclub, they might have looked beyond , because he will see more of the person than his face.”
Daters register with Katch by creating a video profile, after which they can then interact with other users through the platform.
The app has also hosted a number of virtual events, such as live-streamed performances by DJs, which allow users to interact in a setting similar to a real-life scenario.
The app is free, but events are charged to cover the cost of the artists involved – whether that’s a musician, comedian or DJ.
Paul explained, “It’s all video-based. So unlike other apps that just focus on getting users for swiping.
“When you sign up, you’re asked to make a video, so you can’t really hide who you are.
“There are no filters. You say a few words, then our system categorizes you and verifies you. The person is then profiled in terms of how we can match them with other users.
“We then encourage users from specific fields or specific interests to attend events. We simulate the online bar environment, so our events have musicians to set the mood, etc.
“So the host welcomes everyone to the event. Everyone makes themselves comfortable, and one-on-one, they are then introduced to people.
“And that’s our goal, to create these introductions that then lead to one-on-one video calls with another person who we think matches their personality.”
Meetup sessions at events start from around two minutes and if people don’t feel a connection, they can then return to the event lobby.
Alternatively, if they like the person, the individual interaction can be extended.
Paul added, “I think it’s a lot easier for people to initiate communication when people don’t just like the physical or visual side of a person, but they like what they see more. feel when they interact with you and watch your video.
“We don’t tend to get direct feedback from users saying they’ve met someone and are now in a relationship, but we do get positive feedback from people who are amazed at how easy it is to to speak at our events.”