Michelle Kennedy spent five years working on dating apps from Badoo to Bumble so she knows what makes them appealing.
On Thursday, Kennedy was in Dallas to celebrate the North Texas launch of her latest geolocation-based app — Peanut.
These apps with quick profiles where users show interest by swiping left or right already have been all the rage for singles.
When the London native became a mom, though, she found the only way to connect with other moms was through clunky forums, which doesn’t translate well to mobile and doesn’t necessarily have local users.
“How can I make people have dates but I can’t find a woman to go have coffee with?”
“How can I make people have dates but I can’t find a woman to go have coffee with?” she asked. “I’m just going to take the algorithms, everything i know about dating, apply it to a new market, tweak it so it fits and suits women and start from there.”
The result is the Peanut app, a Tinder-like app made specifically for mothers to find other mothers nearby. Kennedy launched the app in London and New York City nine weeks ago with big marketing campaigns but they’ve noticed the app gaining popularity in other cities, too.
Besides London and New York City, Dallas has become the hot spot for Peanut in a short amount of time.
“We had a lot of coverage from mom-specific blogs,” Kennedy said. “As a result you see these pockets take up. There have been several cities that have taken up that we didn’t’ really expect.”
She won’t share exactly how many downloads Peanut has had, but she’s definitely surprised by the demand. It’s available now for iOS and will be released in the Google Play store in about two months.
“I’ve never had a product with numbers like this nine weeks in.”
“I’ve never had a product with numbers like this nine weeks in,” she said.
HOW PEANUT WORKS
Moms log in to the Peanut app using their Facebook account, that way they can verify that the users are who they say they are. They don’t want men posing as women using it, for example.
“It’s better to have a smaller, safer community than the wild west,” she said.
They can create a profile talking about their interests, their child, and what they’re looking for on the app.
Then, they can wave by swiping up and say “maybe later” by swiping down, much the same way Tinder and other dating apps work. The app automatically shows what the users have in common and how close they are.
Unlike those apps, mothers can send messages to other users whether they make a mutual connection or not. The more someone uses the app, the more the artificial intelligence learns what the user wants.
“The basic premise of being able to meet like-minded women will always be free.”
“Your preference might be to meet other women who are working or stay-at-home moms,” she said.
The app is free with no subscription and no ads so there’s no monetization or revenue generation. That could change in the future, she said.
“The focus for us is generating the community right now,” she said. “The basic premise of being able to meet like-minded women will always be free.”
It goes back to the pain point they are trying to solve.
The chat feature allows group messages with up to 20 people where they can talk about problems they are having or set up playdates or mother-only time.
With everyone’s busy schedule, Kennedy wanted a quick and seamless way for everyone to agree on a date and time. Users can poll the rest of the group on the best time to meet and once it’s agreed upon, they can accept the invitation and it goes right to the calendar.
From the start, Kennedy said she wanted a clean, easy-to-use app that would appeal to a younger demographic who have come to expect a great user interface.
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