There are dozens of dating apps and services out there where you can connect with others and (potentially) build some kind of a relationship. BondApp is a new kind of dating app with a large focus on personal communication. It’s many characteristics, including its one-of-a-kind HotSpot feature, allows users to discover locations and other folks who are looking to connect.
We spoke with the startup's Founder and CEO Jamal Taleb to find out more about his company and their upcoming app. Taleb explained how BondApp works and how its many features, including the HotSpot one, are setting it apart in a relatively crowded space.
Colin Barry [CB]: Tell me a little bit about your background and what lead you to start a dating app?
Jamal Taleb [JT]: I’m an entrepreneur with a bachelor’s of mechanical engineering and a minor in business administration from Northeastern University and a master’s in engineering management. Often two individuals may share a common physical interest in public without having a way to meet each other. This problem arises occasionally in restaurants, lounges, cafés, pubs, or any public space where people are drawn to interact. Aspects of the present invention may act as a bridge, icebreaker or facilitator between two prospective individuals who may be interested in establishing a social interaction or relationship. The app eliminates the use of false identities, photos or information, better known as “catfishing” to deceive potential partners.
Another main factor that led me to create the app is security. I have had a few incidents in the past where waitresses would be interested in me so they would write their phone numbers on a piece of paper or receipt, I’m sure it happened with many. I asked myself once, well how about if I’m not interested in this girl and is it safe nowadays to expose your number without even knowing if the guy is interested or not? This is, again, a security factor.
CB: Say I just downloaded the app and have no clue what to do. Can you explain to me how does the app works?
JT: You simply set up an account using your phone number and email address, both of which are not shared with anyone; they’re kept confidential. Once this step is completed, you will be directed to BondApp default page (Image #1) and you just swipe your mode to Online so you’re live on the map. The app is designed in a strategic way to make it very user-friendly. The left section of the App includes a dropdown of the user profile, settings, and support. The right side of the map is your chat wheel for message and pings. You do have a toggle button to convert the display from a map vision to a drop-down list displaying users within 200 feet. Another button will direct you to the hotspot section showing the venues where Bondians (BondApp users) are live. When you detect a user around you within 200 ft, you send a Ping if you’re interested then the other user needs to accept. That’s when you both get diverted to the chat wheel.
CB: The mobile world is full of dating apps. What sets BondApp apart from others in the same market?
JT: Each dating app has something different about it. What distinguishes us among others is that I reversed the concept of dating apps. First, you visually verify that you’re interested in the person then you go on the app so we can break the ice between you both. This will make the user confident that he or she is at least speaking with a person of interest after verifying them.
The uniqueness of BondApp that it acts on the spot and it's very limited to be utilized in restaurants and public places. It will not let the person miss the opportunity of meeting another individual of interest after verifying their physical appearance. Unlike other applications, embodiments of the present application may allow their users to easily identify people of interest, or a potential bond, without being able to use fake identities or other deceitful maneuvers due to the application’s requirement of the person of interest being within a certain limited geographic range to the user for that person to appear on the user’s map. This unique method takes place through a series of sequential processes that will help to bond two people, instantly and in any location.
The proprietary BondApp HotSpot feature enables users to discover venues, where other Bondians are active and online, live without displaying their profile pictures. Promoting local venues, the feature empowers new users to target locales where Bondians frequent and initiate conversations with an instant ping on their mobile device.
The HotSpot feature makes the app unique. It will direct the users where to go with other live users on the App and promoting other venues. You might go to a bar and you find it empty. Open up BondApp and you’ll find that if you go to this specific bar or club, you will find 50 girls and 20 guys live. However, you can’t view their profile pictures until you get to this specific bar or club. This will be a game changer in the nightlife industry.
CB: What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced since starting the company in a relatively crowded space?
JT: Getting the right people/team aboard. I was building the app overseas then I moved development to Boston. The time difference and language barrier and time difference impacted our progress. We decided to transition the development team to a US company that will better suit our needs.
Also, the original UI quality for all design screens was very poor which factored with us making a decision to make this move.
CB: Is the app currently available or is it still being tested?
JT: Not yet. Looking to do a soft launch. Will have the beta testers end of this month of early-November. We’re targeting to deploy the app on 1000 people for the soft-launch to collect feedback and incorporate any tweaks needed for the hard launch targeted early in 2019. The beta testing phase is meant to get people in Boston on the app and test it in several venues around the Boston area.
CB: From the screenshots that have been released on your website, the app has an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use UI. How long was the development on the app? Was it more difficult to develop for iOS or Android?
JT: Roughly around one year. As mentioned above, we hired a large team of high skilled developers in the US to demonstrate our vision and implement in the most easy-to-use method possible. Having a full-time designer definitely helped in addition to the developers who have been eagerly working on hitting our milestones on time.
CB: One thing I always like to know is how a company got its name. How did you come up with the name “BondApp”?
JT: The name “BondApp” was conceived since we form a BOND two individuals together by acting as the facilitator or mutual friend on the spot if you’re on the train, on the plane, or any venue.
Images courtesy of BondApp