Name: Joe Shapira
Position & Company: CEO & co-founder, Jfiix
Twitter ID: @jfiix
Can you give us a brief description about Jfiix and what it does?
Jfiix is a super-fast dating app that is targeted to Gen-Y users. While leveraging on obvious mobile capabilities, we leverage on advance algorithms to customize each user’s experience and offerings and to provide a very intensive mobile dating environment.
Why did you decide to create an app to rival the platform you founded, JDate?
I think that the young Jewish dating generation (Generation Y) is being underserved. While JDate is a good platform, its desktop and Y’ers don’t do desktop anymore. Further, in my opinion, the DNA of a good app does not co-exist with the DNA of a web app and therefore, for a company like JDate, to provide a good app, they have to compete with their web app and that’s difficult.
Are you looking to target a specific group in the Jewish dating community with your services? (e.g. younger Jews)
Definitely. My main target audience is in the age range of 20-35.
What do you think about what’s happening to Spark Networks? Why has the company struggled over the past few years?
I think that over the last few years Spark focused mainly on ChristianMingle and let JDate slide. I think that it was a mistake. JDate has always been the bread earner for Spark and could have continued to be, had they continued to focus on the brand and its growth.
What do you think of its lawsuit against JSwipe?
In my experience, unless you can substantiate substantial damages, lawsuits do not advance your business goals.
How has the industry changed since you founded Spark Networks?
Obviously, there are many more companies in the business now, many bright people, and many ‘shades’ of online dating. However, the main difference is that, for young people today, using a dating app or website comes naturally, whereas when I started, there was a stigma associated with it and, at the beginning, I had to recruit customers one by one.
Where do you see the biggest potential for growth in the industry?
Well, (a) the growth, in my opinion, is in mobile; and (b) with every year that passes, it becomes more natural to use online dating.
What sets Jfiix apart from its competitors?
Most of the apps that I have seen (excluding Tinder) are mobile reiterations of online dating sites. Jfiix is a pure mobile play. We are not wedded to a web data structure or business model. While taking advantage of most of the capabilities of mobile phones, we designed Jfiix to be intuitive and very user-friendly.
How big is the Jfiix team and how did you come together?
We’re a total of 12 in the company and aside from four founders, we came together over time.
What were the advantages of launching Jfiix in Israel before the US? How has the launch gone?
The Jewish vertical in Israel is more competitive than abroad. By virtue of Israel being a mainly Jewish state, every app becomes a Jewish app in Israel (most of the users you’ll find when searching in Israel will be Jewish). Therefore, in Israel, we compete with three local companies (including JDate), as well as all the popular mobile apps. We wanted to be successful in this competitive environment first. Our launch in Israel has been super successful with more than 200,000 users and ever-growing stats.
What are your marketing strategies? (advertising, PR etc)
We use PR both in Israel and in the US, but marketing continues to be a principal discipline of our company.
How do you monetise the app?
We currently monetize only in Israel. Our business model is complex but effective. I believe that in mobile, a successful model is based on little money from a lot of users. In any event, we work hard to insure that money, or lack of it, will not separate any of our users from love.
How many active users does Jfiix currently have?
Our monthly active users top 125,000 and is growing.
Which markets do you plan to expand into after your upcoming US launch?
In terms of Jewish vertical, we intend to expand to every Jewish community in the world, with proper localization, etc.
Have you raised any funding for the app?
The company is amply funded.
What are your plans for the app over the next year?
Our objective is to acquire a critical mass of users in the US, EU and in south and central America.
Visit Jfixx here.