Q&A with JCrush's founder Sonya Kreizman, CEO of Crush Mobile.
Soon thereafter, the company found out how large the market in the Jewish community truly was for what they had created. The app took off and in no time JCrush had over 100,000 users. Immediately, the founders realized that they had a technology that could be replicated into a variety of markets.
The company recently announced a partnership with New York-based indie rock band Mainland to help spread the word about each other as users of the app can share (via Spotify) Mainland’s single with their matches (also known as Crushes).
So I asked Sonya:
How did your background lead you to founding JCrush?
Prior to JCrush, I co-founded and was the COO of a successful online platform called Jspace.com that connects Jewish millennials to news, job listings, cultural and current events, a foodblog, traditions, and more. It has since become a non-profit called JspaceNews.com.
While working at Jspace, I shared an office space with my current business partner, Natasha Nova, who had her own collaborative video start-up company called Weedeo. The origins of Crush Mobile began there.
We were brainstorming ideas about how to make an app for Jspace.com and we realized just how complex it was. This was right around the time that Tinder was blowing up and Natasha and I kidded around about doing an app like Tinder for Jewish millennials.
How many users are on the app currently?
We currently have over 100,000 users who are very loyal and engaged. We are very strong in New York, Israel, London, Paris, and Australia.
How has JCrush been able to attract millennial Jewish daters?
The global Jewish community lacked a modern tool that allowed Jewish singles to connect with the touch of their fingers through their smartphones. Whether you are looking to meet eligible men or women in your own city or you are visiting a new city, JCrush has revolutionized the way Jewish singles connect and meet. Our mission is to be the best Jewish dating app and provide the best user experience to create many happy relationships and marriages. We have had a lot of feedback from users, saying this is what they’ve all been waiting for.
What separates JCrush from other apps?
Although we borrowed from the Tinder concept, we shifted our focus to developing unique features that set us apart from other dating apps and provide our users with the best user experience.
1. The Say Shalom feature is something that our users love and use on a daily basis. This special (paid but very reasonably priced) message allows men and women to jumpstart the conversation without waiting for a match. This lets men take charge, while allowing women to go after the partner they really want. Want to be pursued? No problem. Want to be the pursuer yourselves, ladies? We’ve got you covered. You can buy a package of Shaloms (5 for $1.99, 10 for $2.99 and 25 for $4.99). If you see someone you like and don’t have the patience to wait for them to swipe you right, simply send them a Shalom message and they will immediately get a notification to their phone saying you are interested.
2. Incognito is for people who want more privacy while using the app. You can subscribe to a monthly subscription and only be seen by those users that you selectively swipe right. No one else will see you on the app unless it’s someone you crush. This feature is great for people in high positions and anyone who prefers to date without their friends seeing them in the feed.
3. Crushes – We also allow users to see everyone who crushed them that’s outside their criteria. If you click on “Crushes” from the menu, you will see everyone who swiped you right, regardless of whether they were in your settings or not. This creates better user engagement along with the chances not to miss out on a potential match!
4. Instagram – Many young users stopped uploading pictures to their Facebook albums, which is one place from which users can update their dating profile pictures. We’ve made it easy for our users to upload profile pictures by connecting to their Instagram account. Using Facebook and Instagram provides us with the added benefit of allowing us to monitor and prevent inappropriate content.
5. Undo & No list – If you swiped someone Oy Vey (to the left) you can easily get that person back by clicking Undo or going to the Oy Vey list to reconsider users you dismissed in the past.
6. Sending songs and GIFs – We are very excited about this new update coming soon that allows users to send romantic songs and cute GIFs to their crushes inside the chat.
Are there different types of membership options?
The app is 100% free to use with in-app purchase options such as the Say Shalom message and the Incognito feature.
Describe JCrush's expansion to date?
We started very strong in NYC because of Jspace and the many events we’ve done in New York for the brand. Since then, we’ve grown significantly in other countries. There are 40,000+ users in the United States, 30,000+ in Israel, 10,000+ in the United Kingdom, and 5000+ in Canada and France.
What is next for JCrush? What are long term goals?
Our plan is to constantly keep improving the technology and user experience. We plan to grow in each country with a large Jewish demographic and become the best modern dating tool for the Jewish community.
Last question, what dating advice can you impart on single Jewish millennials?
In today’s society, millennials are always on the go. We want to be able to do everything on our phones, from texting to online shopping, from ordering food to finding love. We think that dating apps should become a user’s best friend because they present opportunities to meet many interesting new people you normally wouldn’t meet on a daily basis. JCrush is an asset to the single Jewish community as a tool to find love.