Lonely? If so, you’re not alone.
A 2018 survey from The Economist and the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 22% of adults in the United States and 23% in the United Kingdom report that they always or often feel lonely or isolated.
And it’s more than a feeling. Loneliness has ramifications for both health and longevity. One large-scale study based out of Brigham Young University found that social isolation is as bad for one’s health as alcoholism or smoking 15 cigaretes a day.
Millennials are connected in myriad ways — Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter — but while they have these connections, many recognize that they lack friends.
KiKi is a new social marketplace that has the simple goal of helping millennials and Z generation find friends — and more. And unlike an online dating company, the KiKi app looks at three kinds of connections: dating, friendship, and networking. THE FIRST APP THAT PAYS YOU FOR HAVING FUN, participants use “KiKi coins” to invite another KiKi user for a drink, meal, or other event so that they can chat in person (bringing users from online to offline world). Users who accept invitations earn up to 70% of the invitation fee in KiKi coins. What’s more, a number of businesses partner with KiKi to provide special deals for KiKi connections.
The process is easy: Participants choose who they want to meet and select an experience, such as a drink, a meal, or a cultural event. They pay a minimum fee to confirm the invitation and guarantee the date, and then they’re off to have fun. With the new COVID-safe adaptation that is now in development, this interaction can happen online — with food included.
KiKi Corp. is the brainchild of Manel Hernández Tomás and Ruben Juan Juan. The company is based in the San Francisco Bay area, but the app can also be used in Spain and Mexico. Backed by Draper Ventures (Tim Draper) and 500 Startups San Francisco. At this year’s I Date Conference (The Industry equivalent of the Oscars), the company won the award for the Best Up and Coming Dating Site and were in third position as Best Niche Dating Site.
It’s an interesting model that provides something new in the online connection marketplace, right? But a pandemic has a way of throwing a wrench into even the most innovative and necessary offerings.
KiKi has had to shift on the fly to accommodate the challenges posed by COVID-19, and while meeting the challenges has been hard, the result has been a more resilient and practical model for the long term.
To accommodate social distancing needs, KiKi has introduced icebreakers for members to get to know one another, and the company is even offering delivery services for KiKi users to remotely share a drink or a meal with other users.
Marcela, one of our KiKi users says that “KiKi has played a huge role in my COVID life. I was quarantining alone in my apartment in Mexico City, away from my family & friends and I found out about KiKi and I’ve been on some dates already and it’s something I look forward to doing every few days“
In an era when people are now accustomed to online work, study, casual get-togethers, and even weddings, users see no problem with meeting like-minded people online for intentional connections. In fact, they seem to like the idea.
KiKi has specific goals related to the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the company would like to test new features related to remote connections, and then launch the new version to the public. A mid-range goal is to open KiKi memberships to new markets, and a long-range goal is to find investors to promote KiKi in the social and lifestyle marketplace in the United States.
Safely connecting with others, particularly during the isolating period of COVID-19, sounds like a lot of fun — but as statistics tell us, it’s also serious, and possibly lifesaving, work. It’s possible that this kind of connection has never been more important.
Article published the 08/16/2020 at EXPLOREBIT