Changing the tune on dating apps: Tech vet wants to connect people through their taste in music
Remember making a mix tape for someone you were dating? What if the mix tape — or your musical taste — was the reason you were dating?
That’s the premise behind Beatmatch, a new dating app for music lovers who can make a potential love connection over a particular song or artists or upcoming concert.
Chudi Iregbulem is the founder and CEO of Beatmatch. He spent just over four years at Amazon Web Services in Seattle as a developer and product manager before leaving in August to pursue his startup full time. He’s since moved back to his hometown of Los Angeles, but he has a small team working on Beatmatch in Seattle and the city will be the launching point for the beta version of the app on Jan. 1.
Iregbulem is a DJ with a clear appreciation for how relationships can begin with and be enhanced by shared musical interests.
“Music is so important, so instrumental in our lives,” he said. “The goal is to create a conversation around music.”
While it certainly might sound romantic in an analogue kind of way to bump into love while flipping through albums at an actual record store, the digital age and mobile apps can speed the process.
Beatmatch works by syncing with your activity on Spotify or Apple Music and learning what you like to listen to. The app’s algorithm finds listeners with similar tastes and makes recommendations for potential connections. Users can seek a match and begin the dialogue by commenting on songs or records or anything else that might strike the right tone in an app centered around music.
Iregbulem prefers his idea over traditional dating apps where users are just swiping past endless photos looking for love based on appearance. Putting something as important as music at the front of the experience eliminates the heartache that can come at the backend when you find out the person you’re about to date is into stuff that you’re not.
“Our point is definitely to match people on music first,” Iregbulem said. “We think it says so much about you, who you are as a person, how you think, how you dress, how you talk, all these things. We’d rather put that up front so you don’t end up wasting time.”
Iregbulem was selected to participate in the 2021 fellowship cohort with Visible Hands, a Boston-based pre-seed accelerator for underrepresented founders.
Prior to AWS, Iregbulem also worked in tech at ESPN and he’s got a decade under his belt as an engineer and product manager.
“That’s really my bread and butter,” he said of the tech side. Figuring out how to fundraise and how to recruit are among the challenges he’s now facing as a first-time founder.
Beatmatch will hold its launch party with an assorted lineup of artists at Q Nightclub in Seattle on Jan. 1. Iregbulem called the city a “perfect market” for getting his business off the ground.
“Seattle is a city with huge, rich music history. We wanted to pick a place that was a music market, but still small enough to where we have a chance to fail and find product market fit.”