New app aims to harness Irish tradition of 'playing matchmaker'

The age old art and tradition of Irish matchmaking has moved into the digital age thanks to a new app from an innovative Dublin woman.

Niamh McCabe (25) is the co-founder of Luvguru, which allows friends and neighbours to play Cupid - to meddle in another friend’s love life and to hook them up with a suitable date.

Niamh’s start-up has already been funded by Enterprise Ireland and accepted to the NDRC Accelerator Programme..

This week she was named as one of 19 finalists put forward to the public voting phase of the Nissan Generation Next ambassador programme.

“The tradition of matchmaking dates back generations in Ireland,” explained Niamh.

“We are taking it to a worldwide audience. We don’t use algorithms. We let your friends and neighbours hook you up. The more times you are matched with someone the higher we rate them for you.

“It’s called swarm intelligence and it’s basically unstoppable. You not only get to be a matchmaker but also get rewarded for being a good one with Karma points.

“We’ve gamified the whole experience. The more points you accumulate the higher you rise in the Luvguru rankings,” she added.

“It’s about trusting your friends to handpick your date for you and it eliminates catfish and spam. Referrals always have a higher success rate.

“They work in sales and job hunting and Luvguru aims to capitalise on that. It is the first dating app to tap into the power of the crowd and this is what makes it unique.”

Niamh launched the app this month and is already on track to having 5,000 downloaded users.

She aims to secure a round of seed funding this summer which will be used to promote and grow the business and to expand the app’s user base throughout the world.

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