lunchclub india: How Lunchclub differs from other professional social networks

Mumbai: There are apps that help you find friends, date with the touch of a finger, and even find your significant other of your parents’ choice. But the social media ecosystem is sorely lacking when it comes to professional networking.

Enter Lunchclub, which is eyeing a broader presence in India after a year-long trial run.

How it works

Lunchclub uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to connect users with common interests and career goals. “We facilitate casual conversations that lead to extraordinary professional impact,” says the company’s one-page website.

Like a dating app, it facilitates business lunches between like-minded professionals and brainstorming sessions over coffee. All you need to tell the app is your background, your goals, and what you are passionate about. An AI-powered algorithm goes through its data to find a new connection for you every week and arrange a one-on-one conversation with this like-minded person. (We can already see that this app is a hit with Bangaloreans jumping on coffee and startup ideas.)

The platform can be accessed through a mobile app or web browser.

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What distinguishes it

Lunchclub is not just a platform to help you find your next job. It also helps startup founders meet investors, content creators meet potential clients, and freelancers find their next assignments.

According to co-founder Vladimir Novbakovsky, Lunchclub users range from young students to senior executives. Members are asked to state their interests and little to do when registering. Members also list goals such as “Exploring new projects” or “Exchanging ideas with peers”, and linking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to provide data for better matchmaking.

“Everyone has long-term goals, and we understand what those goals are and ask about them when they sign up,” he told online publisher Fast Company earlier this year. “At the end of the day, people understand how they are going to achieve this by building their network with related people who have common interests and values ​​around the same place in their careers.”

Financing and Valuation

ETtech, which was founded by Novakowski, Hayley Lipson and Scott Wu in 2017, has reported raising $24.2 million in a $100 million Series A funding round led by Lightspeed. It has raised a total of $30 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Kotio Management.

India plans

Lunchclub’s active user base in India has grown 20 times since it launched beta operations in mid-2020, Novakowski told ET. “What was interesting was that people from different industries, including media, entertainment, finance and not just people from technology, got involved,” he said.

Lunchclub aims to have 100,000 users in India by the end of 2021. To achieve this, it has partnered with co-working platform WeWork as well as T-Hub in Hyderabad. The company also works with the alumni communities of top business schools.

“India is a major global destination when it comes to professional networking,” Novakowski said. “In the post-pandemic era, while the need to create high-quality professional connections remains, there is a need for a channel that can help form meaningful conversations without sifting through hordes of people.” Being a digital platform driven by artificial intelligence, we are able to provide access to the most relevant professionals worldwide.”

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