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Forget Bang With Friends, NoonSwoon helps you find “the one” on Facebook


Do you have trouble finding that special person? NoonSwoon, officially launched in Thailand, is an app to matchmake singles with friends of their Facebook friends.

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What do you do when you just turned single, and you want to get into a relationship with someone compatible? Most people turn to clubs, bars, community meetups and online dating, and so did Kavin “Mickey” Asavanant, co-founder of NoonSwoon, a Thailand-based dating app.

But as he went about meeting potential significant others, the lecturer at Chulalongkong Business School realized that the traditional ways were rather flawed in the sense that girls that he liked seemed to all have partners already, and the ones with a huge “available” placard stuck on their forehead are, sadly, not his type. Online dating also left him with a bitter aftertaste as the profile browsing or discovery techniques they employ are not similar to what people do in the real world. So with his two other co-founders, Peter Panas and Amm Pongtongmuang, the trio started developing NoonSwoon six months back. Not only did they get selected as finalists for AIS Startup Weekends 2013, they were shortlisted as one of the top 10 startups to pitch at Echelon this coming June.

Launched last week in the Thai App Store, the iOS app replicates a dating profile for you using your existing Facebook data, grabbing three of your most recent photographs, location, age and religious beliefs among other things. And then, as the clock strikes 12 noon (thus the name), it matches you up with a new member of the opposite sex whom you have a minimum of five mutual friends with. You then get the whole day to decide if you want to talk to this person by clicking “like” or skipping by clicking “pass.” But wait, not so fast! You only get to chat with the other party if he or she clicks “like,” as well. Names are hidden to maintain anonymity, but once you get to chat with the person you are swooning over, that part would be available.

Unfortunately, for those who have their Facebook status set to “in a relationship”, “married” or “engaged”, you would not be able to participate in NoonSwoon. As we can see, it is similar to hookup app, Bang With Friends, which is in talks with Facebook for funding and was recently shooed off the App Store, in that it has to have the two parties indicating interest for any message to be sent. But this is ultimately targeted at individuals who want a steady relationship with friends of their friends.

I also believe that by only connecting users with people they have mutual friends with, it counters the widespread thinking that online dating and meeting strangers in real life is unsafe, and that you will end up getting shot in the basement by a serial murderer who is really hiding behind a fake profile. You can then ask these friends of yours if your potential date is actually a psycho with credits, which can be earned by logging in, inviting friends and other actions promoting virality.

Mickey shared that at the moment, they have about 3 000 downloads from the Thai App Store, with the majority being highly educated professionals in their twenties and thirties. He added that they are seeing about 70 percent of all users being repeat users and coming back every day. “We are iterating on the product at the moment before rolling out a big marketing push in about a month. […] We have seen a lot of success that people liking and connecting with other people.”

The team behind NoonSwoon

Behind NoonSwoon is a dedicated bunch of three people — whom I have seen in action at Launchpad, a co-working space in Bangkok — namely Mickey, Peter Panas and Amm Pongtongmuang. Armed with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Computer Science from the prestigious Stanford University, Mickey has worked with both corporate giants like Microsoft and Apple, and startups making NoonSwoon his eighth project. Out of the seven other startups he was involved with, six of them failed and one of them had a mini-exit. And the lucky one had 2.5-million installations and was later sold to, formerly known as

Peter, on the other hand, runs the business and product ideation side of things for NoonSwoon. Before getting onboard, he did his MBA at UCLA Anderson School and was with big players like Amazon, Yahoo! and MySpace. Similarly, he also had his own company, SecureMed, while he was still at UCLA. The two then met in Bangkok while Peter was a product manager at Agoda two years back.

Amm, who graduated from Chulalongkorn University, is the brain and person behind all the backend server technology. Interestingly, Mickey shared, “He reads C pointers programming when he has free time and plays with his Arduino machine. Basically, super strong engineering background and always eager to learn how to make Noonswoon technology better.”

Well, Mickey concluded, “In a gist, all founders are singles and passionate about building the best dating app in the world!” I, for one, think that it will be a hit in Singapore as well, where the government tries extremely hard to get citizens to be more romantic and get married. Mickey assured, “We are coming to Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries in the next month or two.”

This article by Elaine Huang originally appeared on e27, a Burn Media publishing partner.

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