GoDaddy brings Tinder-like app to Hong Kong to help entrepreneurs

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 September, 2016, 6:05pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 September, 2016, 10:52pm

US domain name and web hosting company GoDaddy has launched a Tinder-like app for aspiring entrepreneurs in Hong Kong to post their ideas and receive feedback from the community.

The app, called Flare, was first launched in North America in May and is now being expanded to potential entrepreneurs in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Aspiring entrepreneurs anonymously post their ideas with a photo that appears on users’ home screens. Users swipe left to ignore, swipe right to save for later or click on to learn more and show their support by pressing “Love”.

“We wanted to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with a way to easily validate their ideas from a wider community, wider circle of people, with various backgrounds and expertise,” said Tina Nguyen, director of product management and co-creator of Flare.

Roger Chen, vice-president of Asia for GoDaddy, said the company chose to launch the app in Hong Kong as its position an international city with a growing number of start-ups makes it a good test market for Flare.

“We’re trying to put Flare into markets where there’s already a plentiful start-up ecosystem, so there’s a whole bunch of crowd sourcing, accelerators and incubators in Hong Kong.”

A survey by InvestHK reported that the number of start-ups in Hong Kong grew 46 per cent last year to 1,558 compared with 1,065 in 2014.

We’re trying to put Flare into markets where there’s already a plentiful start-up ecosystem
Roger Chen, GoDaddy

The city is now home to more than 10 accelerator and incubation programmes ranging from financial technology to healthcare, run by large corporations including Accenture and Standard Chartered.

Ngyuen said GoDaddy is not releasing user figures for the app, but added that the company has been pleased by the number of users actively engaging the app.

Around 10 per cent of Flare users post ideas and 70 per cent actively engage by giving feedback, while 20 per cent are passive observers, Nguyen said. This compares with 1 per cent of users who actively contribute to online communities and 10 per cent who are active participants.

Once an idea posted to Flare receives 10 ‘Loves’, those who supported the concept can see more about the entrepreneur and help by supplying advice and answering questions.

When users open the app, a home screen shows three ideas so as not to overwhelm viewers, Nguyen said, allowing them to make more considered choices.

Ideas disappear after 24 hours if they have received fewer than 10 ‘Loves’ and each day 20 popular ideas are featured to highlight concepts.

Potential entrepreneurs can also share their location ideas for businesses that would need local support, such as a bakery, Nguyen said.

Chen said the app, available for iOS and Android, is free and GoDaddy has no current plans to monetise Flare.