Enter Lunchclub, which is eyeing a wider presence in India after a year-long beta.
How it works
Lunchclub uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to connect users with common interests and professional goals. The company’s one-page website states, “We facilitate informal conversations that lead to not-so-casual professional impact.”
As 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’re passionate about. The AI-powered algorithm sifts through its data to find you a new connection every week and arrange a one-on-one conversation with that like-minded person. (We can already see this app being a hit with Bangalorians who jumped on coffee and startup ideas.)
The platform is accessible via a mobile application or a web browser.
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What sets it apart
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 gig.
According to co-founder Vladimir Novbakovski, Lunchclub users range from young students to senior executives. Members are invited to specify their interests and a bit of what they do when they register. Members also list goals like “explore new projects” or “brainstorm with peers,” and connect sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to provide data for better networking.
“Everyone has long-term goals, and we understand what they are and ask for them when signing up,” he said.
told online editor Fast Company earlier this year. “Ultimately, people understand that the way they are going to reach them is through building their network with relevant people who have mutual interests and values in the same place in their careers.”
Financing and valuation
Founded by Novakovski, Hayley Leibson and Scott Wu in 2017, Lunchbox raised $24.2 million in a Series A funding round led by Lightspeed at a $100 million valuation, ETtech reported. It has raised a total of $30 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Coatue Management.
Lunchclub’s active user base in India has grown 20-fold since it launched beta operations in mid-2020, Novakovski told ET. “What was interesting to see was that people from different industries including media, entertainment, finance and not just tech people signed up,” he said.
Lunchclub aims to have 100,000 users in India by the end of 2021. To achieve this, it has partnered with coworking platform WeWork as well as Hyderabad-based accelerator T-Hub. The company also works with communities of former students of the best business schools.
“India is a key global destination for business networking,” Novakovski said. “Post-pandemic, while the need to build quality professional relationships is intact, there is a need for a channel that could help form meaningful conversations without sifting through hordes of people. “As an AI-driven digital platform, we are able to offer access to the most relevant professionals around the world.”