Ar Hakobyan
Ar Hakobyan

Ar Hakobyan: [California] Offers Prominence and Access to the Hub of American Culture and Technology

Ar Hakobyan of ClickDate Inc..

Tell us about yourself?

Here is Aram, founder of ClickDate: an AI Matchmaking platform that helps users to find an ideal partner in the most efficient and intuitive way.

I have graduated BCS and MBA having more the 20-year of experience in IT and 10+ in Business, developing startups and products for B2B and B2C.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

It’s all about the idea – is almost never in the concept, but rather in how that concept is carried out in practice.

You need to raise money right away – Research and surveys reveal that only a small portion of the entrepreneurs it examines receive funding from investors and venture capital firms.

Therefore, the majority of businesses won’t initially have direct access to funds.

What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?

You should fully dedicate yourself to the startup and you should understand that you are going to sacrifice your personal and your family life with the hope to play big in the future and cover your busy time with more free time in the future – which might be completely wrong.

Having a startup is like betting because you are trying to solve an equation with 100 unknown variables, which is only possible in case you solve all of them one by one

If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

* Start small rather than trying to build products for different countries and different platforms(i.e. web, ios, android)

* Don’t go to a competitive market, but also not to a purely virgin market where you can not predict the demand and behavior of your potential customers

* Choose co-founders who understand what is being an entrepreneur and what they should sacrifice and how much they should dedicate themselves

A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?

One of the hardest parts of my job is maintaining a healthy work-life-family balance. Like most of us, I also have hobbies outside the office and family&friends that I enjoy spending time with.

Often CEOs have a strong belief that they need to participate in every task because otherwise the job won’t get done right.

Delegation can free up a lot of time. And it’s a choice to keep doing tasks that could be delegated to staff.

Remember that instead of those tasks you can plan your business and make a strategy for your business.

So be smart and make a smart decisions)) Moreover you need to convince and get support of your family members. In the end that is the only right way to go forward to secure and enjoy life!

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

By working directly in the heart of the segment for us the problem of existing matchmaking products has been obvious, so we have decided to start our own company to close the gap.

That is how ClickDate has been created. We have decided to create an intelligent platform where even to-shy-to-talk users can easily find the ideal partner in the most effective way.

The platform intuitively guides users on the steps to be taken for having the perfect date. The platform which creates the stories, full of emotions!

What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?

For the user, ClickDate is a dating site that keeps things straightforward. Long personality questionnaires and randomly generated matching suggestions have been replaced by its clever algorithm.

And it can delve deep into what a single person values most in a romantic connection. ClickDate has built a behavioural matchmaking system that learns what people like by examining who they like instead of asking users to define in detail what they desire.

That implies that an online matchmaker picks up new information with each swipe and click. Users don’t need to specify their choices in settings or words thanks to ClickDate’s user-friendly technology.

Simply begin like dating profiles for new individuals to begin receiving more precise recommendations. Every step the user takes will truly help to improve their match list.

Once a match has been made, ClickDate users are free to start chatting and using extra features on the website or mobile app.

Online talks have no time limit, but the site will encourage users to schedule a date once they’ve been speaking for a long.

ClickDate has collaborated with restaurants to offer lots of affordable first-date suggestions and simplify the process of asking someone out.

Using the ClickDate website, a couple may plan their date and choose a nearby restaurant. Because of this, internet daters find it simple to transition their talks into real-life dates.

We want to simulate actual dating encounters, said Aram. To help couples plan their ideal dates, we are planning extensive integration with restaurants to highlight discounts and deals.

In order to ensure that singles may meet compatible dates without having to write out their life narrative, ClickDate has removed many of the stress and uncertainties associated with online dating and improved personalised match lists.

How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?

Definitely one of the lessons learned is that integration of the payment systems in the LatAm and Asian countries could be challenging.

Even though, for instance, you see on the Stripe website they are supporting a lot of countries – it does not mean you can easily use it, rather you should register a local company in that country.

So, before scaling to other countries, first ensure payment and legal matters are covered and supported by your Payment Gateway.

What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in California over other states in the US?

There is a reason why California is one of the most favored states in our nation. It offers prominence and access to the hub of American culture and technology.

With one of the greatest economies in the world and a state economy the size of California alone, billions of dollars are exchanged annually.

There is perhaps no economy that is more active than California’s in terms of corporate profitability.

What (if any) are the weaknesses of operating your business within California?

Taxes & Regulations. Taxes – California has one of the higher state business tax rates in the country, which does raise the overall expenses that your company will have to pay. Regulations – California is also big on regulating the businesses in the state.

From environmental regulations to safety restrictions, your business will have to keep up to date with the current government demands.

We are currently suffering through a cost of living crisis. With California already being one of the most expensive states to live in, how has this impacted your business?

Well by decreasing the cost of living, fewer customers are willing to pay a premium, but on the other hand, love is like bread.

It is no secret that California is the birthplace of innovation. But that also makes it incredibly competitive. How have you found the competitive environment of California?

Healthy and positive. Competition is a driver for innovation. On the other hand, if you are a late-comer it is usually quite hard to compete if you don’t have real game-changer features or approaches

Have you considered moving your company to another state? If so, which state and why?

We are not considering moving the company to another state, at least in the foreseeable future

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

Well our goal is to reach 1% Market penetration in the matchmaking segment, which in absolute numbers should be close to 40M in sales. Major short term plans is to upgrade the ClickDate platform with new features and creative matchmaking solutions.

We want to reduce the registration process further and make the site more engaging. We would also like to partner with gifting and floral portals like Etsy to let users send small tokens or flowers their potential partners.

As a tech startup, we also has major fundraising goals for the next years. We are looking for investors to help foster our expansion in the online dating world.

One of the most exciting developments currently in the pipeline is a love tracking feature, which will allow singles to visualize how their online relationships are going and keep tabs on potential date prospects.

The tracking feature will show the status of matches to remind individuals to respond to messages, schedule dates, and make sure their relationships are moving forward. We want to make online dating more active and engaging.

And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?

Contact us via our customer support portal, drop a message to our LinkedIn page, or message our company via info email.

Follow ClickDate Inc. on Twitter or Linkedin.

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