14. August 2014–
Bring old friends. Meet new friends. This is the simple concept behind Comeet, a new Berlin-based startup that wants to help your group of friends meet and enjoy the company of other groups. The app recently moved out of beta testing and is now available to connect Berliners.
We caught up with founders Ben Hesseldieck and Julian Koch to learn more about their vision for Comeet, what they are still missing, and their advice for other entrepreneurs.
Tell us more about Comeet.
We are building Comeet to make meeting new people as easy and as comfortable as meeting friends. We want to do this with our mobile app where you can easily log-in via Facebook and form groups with your friends. Once you have created your group, we show you in our app who is around. With one swipe you can decide to meet them or not to meet them. If you get a match and you both like each other then we suggest a meeting point and a time for the group. We use the Yelp API for our recommendations on locations and curated 150 locations in Berlin ourselves. We also offer chats, so you have the possibility to change the place and the time of the meetup. Our goal is to bring people together offline through technology.
Where did you get the idea for Comeet?
We were working a previous project, and it had the same goals. With this project, we wanted to bring people together through funny challenges. It didn’t work out as we had hoped, since the sales behind it was very expensive. We went back to testing and then discovered the idea for Comeet.
We think that one-on-one meetings are awkward. But when you are in your group with your friends you are feeling safe and secure. It is really easy-going. There are models in the US that showed us that the group principal works. For example, with Grouper.
What is your business model?
Our first priority is to build a product that people love to use at least every week. That is what we are focusing on. We have some business ideas in mind, but we are not focusing on that yet.
Who are your major competitors?
We see Tinder and Grouper as our main competitors. We use the group principle, which solves the problem of fearing the first meeting. Comeet also takes the good things from Tinder. The simple UI, the matching principle, etc. Essentially, we are taking two good concepts and putting them together.
We also go one step further. Tinder solves the problem of getting to know someone and establishing the first contact very well. What Tinder doesn’t solve is securing the first meeting with someone. What studies show is that 80% of Tinder matches never meet. We say that when you are in a group it is not only easier to meet. People also want to meet.
Another problem with Tinder is that it became a game. We want people to actually meet new people to enable them to have fun and enjoy their time.
Are you currently looking for financing?
We are financing ourselves right now with our own money. We are searching for investors for proof of concept and to market our product more. Actually, we are already in talks with investors in Germany, but also in London. Since Comeet falls under a user growth model, we realized through experience that people in the UK and the US are more open to it.
We think in the future this concept will work better in the US than in Europe. In Germany, our goal is to gain proof of concept and then scale.
What are you missing?
We are looking for someone who will support us in marketing especially app marketing and social marketing. We are very creative and have some cool and crazy ideas. We want someone who will be able to support us in these crazy ideas.
We are also searching for brand ambassadors. These are students we want to work with in order to introduce Comeet to universities and use their networks.
What advice do you have to other founders?
Founding a company without money is impossible.
And be wise. Make smart decisions and work with people you trust. Also, just do it. Many people have very good ideas but, after three or five years, they never have the courage to do them. Just give it a try. Last but not least, one needs a bit of luck. We, for example, had great luck to find our third cofounder and CTO Shay. Without him, we wouldn’t be where we are right now.
Thank you, Ben and Julian, for your time.
Image Credit: Shari Mahrdt