Taipei Times (TT): Taiwan’s online social networking industry is becoming more competitive, with more players entering the market.How do you position iMatchBox in the market? What is iMatchBox’s niche that can lead the company to conquer the major players’ dominance?
Sam Lin (林宇輝): iMatchBox is a platform developed to provide a space for office workers to date with peers online after busy days at work.
The difference between our social networking Web site and others is that iMatchBox is an online dating Web site, rather than a social networking Web site.
We seek to build an environment that is easy for people to access and most importantly, “safe and daily” enough to make Internet users feel secure dating online.
By hash-tagging his or her favorite leisure activity, people looking for mates on iMatchBox can meet those who have mutual interests. It is easier to find ideal mates this way.
Our market analysis tells us that a large number of people prefer this way of dating because it helps them find topics to talk about when they begin a relationship.
iMatchBox is like a combinition of Facebook and Twitter. Users can share their daily life by writing stories on their wall and hashtag activities they enjoy doing. This way, people are able to know each other not just seeing their pictures, but by understanding their interests.
TT: Has the company made a profit yet?
Lin: No. We have not yet begun mass marketing, which is our major task this year.
Since we opened the Web site in January last year, more than 40,000 netizens have registered as members of iMatchBox.
As the membership volume increased, we detected that there were some bugs on our Web site, so we spent lots of time fixing and revising the site’s code and structure.
As the Web site is now running stably and there are more communities created by users, we think it is time for us to begin marketing and increase our visibility.
TT: What is the company’s goal for the coming year? Are you planning to make iMatchBox a listed company in the Over-the-Counter Market in the near future?
Lin: Our goal is to increase the number of our members to more than 100,000.
Though iMatchBox has more than 40,000 people signed up for memberships, only 4,000 of them are active members who log in their accounts on a regular basis. Because we are a startup company, growth potential is considerably high, and we believe we can achieve our goal.
As for when iMatchBox can become a public company, I can only say that is not in the company’s plan for the near future.
We want to enhance our Web site’s quality first before making a profit.
Getting listed in the stock market may be every startup’s ultimate goal, but we really want to make sure our customers enjoy a nice dating experience. Anything other than that is not important to us at the moment.
TT: Did your father help you expand your business or provide you with financial aid?
Lin: No, I refused to accept any outside financial source, except for founders’ funds.
My father asked if he could offer funds and become a shareholder of iMatchBox. I rejected it because that would only make my business plan harder to realize because he would insist on running the company as he wanted once he became a major shareholder.
For me, I just want to create a safe place for people to date online. That is my dream.