lunchclub india: How Lunchclub differs from other professional social networks

lunchclub india: How Lunchclub differs from other professional social networks

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

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

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 says: “We facilitate casual conversations that lead to not-so-casual professional impact.”

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

The platform is accessible through a mobile app or a web browser.


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What sets it apart

Lunchbox 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 cofounder Vladimir Novbakovski, Lunchclub users range from young students to senior executives. Members are asked to specify their interests and a bit about what they do when they sign up. Members also list goals like “explore new projects” or “brainstorm with peers,” and connect sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to provide data for better matchmaking.

“Everyone has long-term goals, and we understand what those are and ask about them on registration,” he
told online publisher Fast Company earlier this year. “At the end of the day, people understand the way they’re going to achieve them is through building their network with relevant people who have mutual interests and mutual values around the same place in their career.”

Funding and valuation

Founded by Novakovski and Scott Wu in 2017, Lunchbox raised $24.2 million in a Series A funding round led by Lightspeed at a valuation of $100 million, ETtech reported. It has raised a total of $30 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Coatue Management.

India plans

Lunchclub’s active user base in India has grown 20 times since it launched beta operations in mid-2020, Novakovski told ET. “What was interesting to see is that people from different industries, including media, entertainment, finance and not just people from tech, have been signing up,” he said.

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

“India is a key global destination when it comes to professional networking,” Novakovski said. “Post-pandemic, while the need to establish quality professional connections is intact, there is a need for a channel that could help form meaningful conversations without sifting through hordes of people. “Being a digital AI-led platform, we are able to offer access to the most relevant professionals all over the world.”

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