Real estate seniors develop live “speed-dating” app

Seniors Daniel Newman and Leor Massachi wanted the app to allow only members of certain communities to communicate. (Photo from Dandy website)

Unsatisfied with mainstream dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, Leor Massachi and Daniel Newman, both seniors majoring in real estate development, decided to take matters into their own hands. Together, they co-founded a live speed dating game in a mobile app called Dandy to create an efficient space for meeting romantic partners.

“Dandy is more of an experience,” Massachi said. “Given the nature of the product, your heart rate actually increases when we go live. College students are by far the most social, spontaneous demographic. We’re always meeting students on campus [and] want to meet new people and this is the most fun and efficient way of making that happen.”

The app, which released an update in August, aims to allow USC students to virtually connect through instant messages, without needing to meet in person. Dandy emulates raw human behavior, as it gives students a convenient way to connect, by addressing issues of unreliability and privacy on current dating apps, Newman said.

With recent updates which help users control the time they spend on devices — like Instagram’s “You’re All Caught Up” feature and Apple’s iOS 12 in-detail reports — the co-founders wanted Dandy to be the most productive three minutes of a user’s day.

“Dandy is leading this inflection point in social,” Massachi said. “We’ve engineered Dandy to be something exciting you play with your friends for only a couple minutes — then send you back into the real world.”

Upon download, the app presents users with a timer indicating when the next virtual party, or gathering of fellow users, will happen. At the end of the countdown, all participants receive a push notification to join the party and are presented with a photo of another male or female once the app goes live. If the two users “like” one another within five seconds, they progress into a two-minute chat through instant messaging. If both parties still “like” each other after the quick chat, their phone numbers will be unlocked, opening the potential for further communication. Part of the fun of app is that these live parties occur randomly and with no set schedule.

“This entire party lasts for only a couple minutes, so don’t be surprised if your heart rate goes up as you experience Dandy go live,” Newman said.

Unlike most dating networks, Dandy is secured within certain communities. The app requires users to provide a university email address and Instagram handle. Given this extra precaution, users are free to talk in a safe and verified circle among fellow USC students.

In addition to being productive and secure, the team behind the app wanted the game to be inclusive to all university students and create a sense of community, Dandy Chief Marketing Officer Ashley Pakzaban said.

“With Dandy, students are able to network and find cute people in a great atmosphere without having to deal with hoards of people at a frat party or a super exclusive little event,” Pakzaban said. “Dandy makes life easy by connecting you with the people in your community in a faster, safer and [more] fun way.”

According to Dandy Chief Growth Officer Daniel Aghachi, the team hopes that the app will provide students with an opportunity to eventually establish genuine, real-life connections with others, making their time at the university more enjoyable.

“We hope that USC students will get real in-person interactions with other students because of the spontaneous factor of Dandy,” Aghachi said. “Students across the nation are spending way too much time on social media which disables them from establishing genuine, real connections with others. With Dandy, all students will look forward to Dandy going live, whether it be every day or once every week.”