Lunch is a good time to Paktor

Lunch is a good time to Paktor

Juggling work and other commitments, young executives often complain that they have no time to date.

But they seem to have plenty of time for their smartphones, a trend which mobile dating app Paktor (meaning "dating" in Cantonese) is hoping to tap.

My Paper speaks to co-founder Charlene Koh.

How did you get involved with Paktor?

I've known (co-founder) Joseph Phua for a really long time. He asked me whether I wanted to help him with his dating app and the first thing I said was, "Eee, dating app?"

But after talking to him about it, I decided to join him. He said it was different, it's something that eliminates rejection and will fit into the society in Singapore.

How does it work?

You log in through Facebook. The main reason we use Facebook is so that we know you are a real person and not some psycho.

You need to have a minimum of 50 friends to sign up with Paktor. A profile of someone will pop up and you can choose to like (swipe right) or dislike (swipe left) the person.

What if people are embarrassed about online dating or being rejected?

We do not post notifications on our users' Facebook wall, to protect their privacy. Paktor also eliminates the fear of rejection as it runs on a "double-blind" concept.

Only when two people like each other's photo will introductions be made (through) a chat window.

What is the biggest barrier that stops young executives from meeting someone new?

I would say work. I have friends who are 35 and are stuck at work at 10pm. They will say, "Oh, I have no time for dinner" or "I can't meet you today", but you always see them updating Facebook. So, even if you don't have time to go out and meet people, you can still meet people on Paktor.

How does Paktor protect its users?

We do random checks on users. For instance, if their profile photo is obviously not of themselves but of a celeb, we will investigate.

Users can hit a red flag when they think a person is dubious, and a notification will be sent to our e-mail account. They can also e-mail us or send us a message on Facebook. We can ban a user at the click of a button.

What are Singaporeans like, in general, when it comes to dating?

In Singapore, the guy will always make the first move, which is similar to (what you get) with the app. We also fear rejection and are very shy.

When do the most matches happen?

During lunchtime and after work. When people are on the way home and are on the MRT, they are just swiping (their phones). You can see big jumps during these times.


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