Interview with Kenneth Lee, CEO & Founder of CLINK
CLINK is the first mobile nightlife social app developed in Hong Kong. The first to feature a Group Matching function, CLINK is designed for people to meet new friends in a group setting in their favorite hangout in town. At present, CLINK has over 7,000 users with over 3,000 connections made. The app is currently available for download on the iOS platform, with the Android version to come soon this year. CLINK is an incubatee of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park’s incubation program. For more information, visit http://www.clinknow.co or read their press release here.
- Tell us about CLINK and what inspired you to start it?
My friends and I like going out a lot. We often find the best nights out happen when our squad clicks magically with another squad. I created CLINK to facilitate these magical moments. Life is too short for boring nights out! CLINK is a nightlife social platform that connects different groups of friends together over drinks. Through CLINK, you and your squad can easily join forces with other fun groups whom also want to go to your favorite hangout. CLINK offers you an easy way to meet new people and have a fun night out. This is all done in the comfort of your own group of friends!
I also recognized a need that is underserved by current offerings on the market. Right now, the social app realm is dominated by 2 extremes. On one hand, you have social networks (such as Facebook, Instagram) that connect you with existing friends; on the other hand, you have 1-on-1 dating apps (such as Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel) that are designed to find you romance. What was missing was a social app that allows you to expand your social circle in the comfort of your own friends in a casual group setting.
- Tell us about yourself
I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with triple majors in finance, marketing and international business and a minor in accounting. Prior to founding CLINK, I worked in the venture capital/private equity industry for 5 years.
- How does it work? Who would benefit from using this app?
Using CLINK is simple. First, you and your friends form a Group on CLINK and select your preferred hangout. CLINK will then show you what other groups want to hang at your preferred hangout. From there, you can swipe anonymously to like and pass on other squads. A chatroom will connect everybody if there is mutual interest.
As a social app, CLINK will, of course, benefit people that like to socialize and go out. Even accessible to those who would normally be shy to meet new people through an app, CLINK’s group function makes meeting new people really fun, easy and safe. It’s the new way of going out!
- Tell us about the experience building the app (how long did it take, did you outsource/build in-house and any learnings to share)
The very initial prototype was outsourced, but everything afterwards was built in-house. Consumer apps like CLINK require lots of iterations to make it right. I would definitely recommend developing in-house for anyone who is looking to build an app.
- The app is free, what’s your monetization strategy?
The app is and will always be free. Right now, our monetization strategy is through in-app purchases and we will experiment with different monetization methods down the road. However, user experience will always be our number one priority.
- What do you think of the Startup community in Hong Kong?
CLINK is part of HKSTP’s Incubation program, so we are grateful for the government’s support for startups. Compared to other places, Hong Kong is not the ideal startup location as there is a lack of resources (land), lack of talent, lack of market size, and lack of capital interested in local startups.
- What’s next for CLINK?
Develop CLINK for Android users and expand to other cities in Asia!
- What are 3 things you want people to remember about your company?
1) Matched group conversations last 7 days so CLINK provides incentive to taking online relationships offline (in the real world) into a casual group setting with the company of your friends.
2) Using CLINK you can plan your nights out with friends and identify events and special offers with the heat map function, which pins an extensive directory of locations and events on an interactive map – sparking new ideas and adventures.
3) With close to 4,000 connections made so far, CLINK is a great platform for meeting new people and expanding our social circles. Tell your friends about CLINK!
- Where can we find out more about CLINK?
Download the app (https://itunes.apple.com/app/id942445330)! Have a play around and if you have any questions, you can visit our website (http://www.clinknow.co) or drop us a note anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Interview by Ludivine Taverne