December 11, 2016
I interviewed the Founder of JSwipe, David Yarus. We spoke about a variety of topics including the JDate lawsuit and the future of JSwipe. This information has never been heard before, so check it out below!
Z: Can you give us some background on the JDate lawsuit?
D: We are deep into this legal situation, but JSwipe is going strong and running full speed ahead. Everything in the Jewish community starts with a “J” – JCC, JNS. In high school we would often refer to other Jews as “J’s”. We came up with JSwipe, so it could fit into the Jewish culture and be straight forward with our name.
Clearly now JDate is not happy with that. We received a cease and desist letter to change our name and stop using it. We then didn’t hear from them (JDate) for 3 months and then received a lawsuit for the letter “J”. JDate says that the letter is theirs in the Jewish dating space. They claim that JSwipe is infringing upon their patent of matching people who anonymously like each other through technology.
Z: Why is the lawsuit ridiculous?
D: Jewish is a generic term and should not be owned by anyone. This is a difficult question to answer. What I can say is that 100s of Jewish organizations all begin with the letter “J”. Even many companies in the dating world begin with “J”. For example, Jcrush, which has not had any legal trouble. What it comes down to is that we (JSwipe) are growing fast and so intimidating those in the dating space (JDate). We are a threat even though we are trying to spread love. Clearly there are people (JDate) looking to stifle innovation and growth.
Z: How is JSwipe different than JDate?
D: We set ourselves apart on a number of levels. First of all, our core community is the millennial Jews, 18-35 years old. Second, our platform is only mobile and we are free as well. Third, we will also be offering premium features in the future. We are all about making love free and so offer a free mobile app designed for the on-the-go single consumer. Others (JDate) are on web-based platforms, generally, with an older audience and an outdated business model. The experience is time consuming. A user spends a lot of time creating a profile and then sending out messages. With JSwipe it is quick and easy.
Z: Compared to other mobile dating apps, such as Tinder and Hinge how does JSwipe differ?
D: JSwipe caters to the Jewish community, unlike Tinder and Hinge. There are fewer weirdos and JSwipe is a more serious platform than Tinder. In short, we are a safer space. Traditionally, there are users who wouldn’t have been on dating apps who have now joined JSwipe for the community and intention of finding a Jewish date.
Z: Since JSwipe caters to a younger audience, have websites such as JDate lost users to you?
D: I have to be careful how I answer this. We view JSwipe as a complementary experience to the Jewish dating world. We appeal to a younger audience. Since the lawsuit has been in the media, our fastest growing demographic is 35+. The technology we offer is applicable to anyone regardless of age. We hope people find value and love through it.
Z: Why is 35+ your fastest growing demographic?
D: We live in a world where the millennial culture influences those around us. Jewish youth is sharing success stories and our parents’ generation is catching on.
Z: What are JSwipe’s short-term and long-term goals?
D: Short-term is to get through the lawsuit, stay alive, make love free. Long-term is to continue to grow outside the major cities as well as on a national level. We also want to continue with our offline engagement. For example, we held the JSwipe Summer Series, where over 1000+ people came out in New York and several 100 came out in Boston and Chicago. We are looking to build a more robust app.
Z: Can you talk about new features?
D: Not at this time, but they will be awesome.
Z: Any new offline events?
D: We will continue our Summer Series. We have had a lot of requests from other cities for our events. Also, we would love to be part of other incredible Jewish events and help make them incredible.
Z: What are JSwipe’s major cities?
D: NY, LA, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Miami, London, Tel Aviv, and Toronto.
Z: How many matches does JSwipe produce?
We have 400,000 users, 35 million messages sent, 10+ million matches made, and over 800 million swipes. We launched on Passover 2014.
Z: Can people help out with the lawsuit?
D: We want the Jewish world to understand what’s happening. Please help spread the word! We are crowdfunding on Indiegogo to support legal fees. Also, help spread the word! And spread the love. Encourage people to use JSwipe, since it would be pretty helpful for them.
Picture Courtesy Of: Shalom Life