Long-suffering wives in television sitcoms can often be heard complaining that, now long into their marriage, that their husbands never bother to take them anywhere new and exciting. While the sitcoms are an exaggeration, it’s true that it’s easy to fall into a routine once past the early months or years of a relationship.
Recently launched Australian startup Vibedate is looking to help couples inject a sense of spontaneity into date night by coming up with ideas for fun things to do and then doing all the planning for them.
The platform works by having users first set their budget for a date. They then detail facts about themselves and their partner and highlight their interests. Dates can start from $25 per person through to $1000 for bigger occasions, with Vibedate’s partnerships with providers meaning dates are set up through discounted rates.
Asked where the idea for the business came from, cofounder Maggie Partsi joked, “I watch a lot of The Bachelor”, but said she often heard friends who had been in relationships for several years complain that they had gotten into a rut with their partners, going to the same restaurant every Saturday night for date night.
“My partner and I go on a lot of adventures and we do a lot of fun things and we thought, why can’t we organise this for other people as well? A lot of people want to go out, they want to do fun stuff but they just don’t have time to plan things; if they’re at work all day, they come home and want to do something but they haven’t had the time to organise anything. We’re that person that organises it for you,” Partsi explained.
Having come up with the idea towards the end of last year, Partsi and her partner Tony Dymock, a civil engineer, decided to take the plunge and set up the business after winning a Pitch Fest event at General Assembly. They used the $1000 prize to set up the website and ABN, then approached MOO to print their marketing materials; while the importance of online marketing has never been greater, Vibedate found that hard copy materials like business cards and flyers still came in handy.
“We got these amazing flyers done up. We ran a campaign which had flyers with the different categories on each, like a food flyer, an adventure flyer and so on, and on the back was a door saying ‘which door will you open?’ asking which new experience the person would choose for themselves,” Partsi said.
A big step for Vibedate then came when Partsi and her partner got involved with the Melbourne startup festival Pause Fest, held at Federation Square in February.
“We went and, basically, we spent the festival telling lots of people about our startup and what we do, and we even made our first sale, which was very exciting. From there it’s just been a whirlwind adventure, setting up more dates, getting more feedback, and getting some really good reviews to help us see what works,” Partsi said.
“The most popular categories have been the food date and the adventure date, because everyone loves food and everyone loves adventure, it seems,” Partsi said.
Primarily aimed at the generally time-poor and those in long relationships, Partsi said Vibedate has seen quite a diverse range of customers so far in terms of age groups, with some in their early 20s through to over 40s booking dates for Valentine’s Day. The startup has also begun setting up ‘bestie and me’ dates, while branching out into corporate events is also a possibility.
Both Partsi and her partner are still working other jobs, self funding the development of Vibedate thus far.
“Every spare second we get we’re always coming up with ideas, doing stuff outside of work hours. But I think while in the startup phase it’s doing amazingly, but we just want it to take off more and make enough revenue so that we can actually leave our day jobs, because it is definitely what we’re most passionate about,” Partsi said.
The cofounders hope to get the word out and scale the business through social media marketing, as well as going through their own networks and attending more events like Pause Fest, where they can meet those excited to be among the first adopters of new technologies and platforms.
“We ran a ‘Win a Vibedate’ competition at Pause Fest, and just had the winners go on this amazing date on a seaplane which was fantastic, they absolutely loved it and had a great time,” Partsi said.
“Word of mouth is also massive, and with that, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.”
MOO helps its customers print things like Business Cards, Flyers, and Letterheads, making it easy for them to share information about themselves or their business in the real world.