Founded by Ian Hamilton Isherwood, a Kenyan born in Mombasa, DateMeKenya.com is a members-only, exclusive and premium dating website for a selected few from a certain class.
Safe & convenient online dating
Isherwood told TechMoran that the idea for DateMe Kenya came along after spending part of his adult life in the UK and seeing how mainstream, easy, safe and convenient online dating was.
“It’s a billion dollar industry worldwide with over 40 million users and one in five people now meeting their partners via an online dating website,” Isherwood said. “Kenya has still not been touched by this amazing phenomenon and DateMe Kenya plans to give Kenya its first taste of a premium online dating website that offers quality, safety and privacy all at a click of a button.”
DateMeKenya will offer 2 types of membership, the Premium Chui and VIP Simba. VIP Simba members enjoy exclusive privacy settings that are designed to give the user a safer, more private DateMe experience, while Premium Chui is for pre-selected paid up members. “We know some people are rather private here in Kenya and we have catered for this,” he said.
DateMeKenya will generate money mainly from its membership packages but will also run localised adverts with special offers for our members to enjoy (half price drinks, meal discounts, special safari offers etc) and plans to work with local companies who will be paying to advertise their deals and special offers.
Membership will be available on 1,3,6 and 12 month plans. The longer you sign up for the cheaper it is.
Premium Chui – 1 month – 4,000ksh
Premium Chui – 3 month – 7,200ksh (40% off) = 2,400ksh pm
Premium Chui – 6 month – 9,600ksh (60% off) = 1,600ksh pm
Premium Chui – 12 month – 12,000ksh (75% off) =1,000ksh pm
VIP Simba – 1 month – 7,000ksh
VIP Simba – 3 month – 12,600 (40% off) = 4,200ksh pm
VIP Simba – 6 month – 16,800 (60% off) = 2,800ksh pm
VIP Simba – 12 month – 21,000ksh (75% off) = 1,750ksh pm.
According to him, “Being a members only website means you only find genuine, quality people who really want to be here. A members-only site lets us provide the quality service you would expect from a premium dating website and maintain full control of who we allow onto the site. We don’t just will not accept anyone and we will expect all members to respect one another.”
Being extremely unique, DateMeKenya is Kenya’s 1st premium site to have ever targeted the Kenyan middle class who take up over 17% of the country, and the over 60,000 expatriates in Kenya, the numbers are projected to go up as Kenya’s stable economy grows at over 5% annually, especially with the country’s discovery of oil and gas.
“It’s probably the fastest growing consumer class in the world, as a region,” said Michael Lalor, director of Ernst & Young’s Africa Business Center in Johannesburg. The middle class Kenyans how have disposable incomes and want to enjoy themselves.
DateMe Kenya offers the quality people will appreciate and just like the best hotels in Kenya. People know they can go there and everything will be perfect, that is how I want DateMe Kenya to be, Isherwood narrates.
“We allow people to suggest their own DateME ideas. What is a DateME idea? This is a simple and fun way to instantly connect with others and tell people what YOU want to do on a date. On every profile we have a ‘DateME’ box idea. In the box the member can write exactly what they want to do, lets say “cocktails and then bowling”… The idea is then broadcast to all the other members of the opposite sex and if another member likes the idea, they click “Great Idea” and they take it from there. It’s a fantastic way for people to connect and gets people together who like doing similar things. Dates are more fun when you are both doing something you BOTH enjoy after all!,” he said.
Speed dating, cocktail evening and shisha nights
DateMe Kenya will also be hosting events throughout the year (speed dating, cocktail evening, shisha nights etc) to make sure their members stay active and get to meet people as well as have LOTS of fun. Users can also host their own events at their pool on Friday and have a few beers.
To avoid every Tom, Dick and Harry from populating their site, Isherwood told TechMoran that every new member, every new picture or name change or profile update is manually approved by DateMeKenya. Manually approving content also makes sure all the content is appropriate and does not offend anyone.
“WE ARE NOT a cheap ‘hookup’ site like most other sites out there. We have rules in place and anyone breaking the rules (foul language, asking for money, harassment etc) will be removed instantly without a refund, he told TechMoran.
WE ARE NOT a cheap ‘hookup’ site
Users can also ask questions on the site’s forum such as “I’m looking for a public pool next to Westgate” then other members can reply anonymously or with their profiles to help each other out as members of the community.
To those who are stuck, DateMeKenya will help match them with members using simple and fun questions to see if they get a matching partner or just get ice breakers and hints before meeting a date.
Funded by his personal funds and his friends, Isherwood says he is open to any external funding. His best friend Gavin Morrice in Scotland who runs Katanacode.com developed the first-class website he is set to launch.