Real people making real connections.
By VIVEK JAIN, LOKO co-creator & CEO
It all began with a comment my daughter made during a movie night: “Daddy, you always take care of me and my sister, but who takes care of you? You should get a girlfriend.”
Being a single dad was never a big deal for me, but this hit hard. It made me realize that I needed to make finding a significant other more of a priority in my life. I’ve always been skeptical of dating apps, and up until this comment I’d been trying the old fashioned way. But with my busy schedule as an entrepreneur and being a parent of two girls, it became evident that I wasn’t going to meet someone out in the real world.
So I fired up the popular dating apps, and it’s safe to say I was underwhelmed. I went through online dating’s vicious cycle: I went into the process optimistic, gave it my full effort, became dejected, and then shut down the apps altogether to focus on family and career.
One evening I went over to my friend Norm’s house — the comedian Norm MacDonald — to vent about my recent first dates that went nowhere. Norm wanted to get to the bottom of the problem.
The headaches were obvious: endless swiping, text conversations that go nowhere, matches who are nothing like their profiles suggest. This all leads to the biggest problem, Norm and I realized: first dates. They rarely go well. They seemed like an inefficient use of time, when free time was so precious to begin with.
We wondered how we could we make an app that would lead to more meaningful dates. We talked well into the night and in the end LOKO was born.
The idea behind it is to eliminate the biggest frustrations with online dating, and to help people make sincere connections. LOKO is the world’s first video-only online dating app, and it’s the only app that holds matches accountable to meet in real life.
Here’s how it works: The video-only profiles allow users to make true first impressions while also getting a better sense of their matches’ real personalities. Once a connection is made, users have 24-hours to schedule a virtual date within the app; if they don’t, they’re unmatched.
We call these virtual meetings Elimidates, because the idea is figure out if your match is a good one before you actually meet in person. Elimidates are done through video chat and capped at 15 minutes. They allow you to get a real sense of the person you’re interacting with in the safe, comfortable environment of your own home. It also means you don’t have to write a two-
person War & Peace-length text novel on your phone.
You’ll only agree to meet in person if you know there’s a connection that points to a meaningful first date. Once you’ve hung up, if you haven’t agreed to meet or exchange contact info, you will not be able to match or communicate with each other via the app again. This is to encourage users to actually get together.
Our goal is to bring matches together for the kind of magical, face-to-face dates where you spend the whole evening getting to know each other, instead of getting acquainted in back-and-forth text exchanges.
It’s simple, really: Real people making real connections. Because we all deserve better.