About the Platform
GirlCrew is a platform for women to make new friends, seek advice and share knowledge. A member signs up, verifies their account to show they are a woman, and then they are in. It is available on desktop, and as an app on iOS and Android.
The social network was founded by three women – Elva Carri, Pamela Newenham and Aine Mulloy. Elva was working freelance, editing a magazine and helping companies with social media and content. Pamela was working as a journalist for a national newspaper writing about technology, start-ups and innovation.
Aine was working in marketing for an educational publishing company. The three of them worked in their jobs from 2014 – 2016, while developing GirlCrew on the side. They left their jobs in 2016, to focus on GirlCrew full-time.
Maintaining their jobs, while developing GirlCrew on the side, allowed the founders to test a number of revenue streams, without having the pressure of having no salary if various revenue streams failed.
Whom do we cater to?
GirlCrew is aimed at women looking to make new friends, either because they have moved to a new city or country, or because they have found themselves at a different life stage to their friends. Their friends might be settling down, getting married and having children, but they aren’t. The vast majority of GirlCrew’s members are women aged 25-40. While some are younger and others are older, most are in that age bracket.
What do we offer to our consumers?
Not keen on going to a concert solo? Find a crew with us. Want to book a vacation but your friends are all coupled up? Find a group of girls to travel with. Whatever you can dream up, you can do with the crew. We help women make friends through online group chat and offline events, as real friendship happens in person. Chatting online before an event, makes meeting people at events easier.
Also Read: Social Media Platform Feature – Chtrbox
What motivated us to start up?
One Friday night Elva was staying in, because although there was a club night she wanted to go to, she didn’t want to go alone and all her friends were either busy or tired. So, she ‘hacked’ Tinder. She changed her gender setting to male so that her profile would show up to all the other single girls in her area, and put up a profile picture explaining she was actually female and not looking for dates but just looking for some people to go out dancing with. She thought people would think she was crazy but did it anyway.
Within 24 hours she had over 100 enthusiastic matches and GirlCrew was born. She teamed up with Aine Mulloy and Pamela Newenham to create a business and grow GirlCrew groups all over the world.
What’s in a name?
A member came up with the name GirlCrew. It was originally called Tinder Crew, but women didn’t want to say they were part of Tinder Crew. The name GirlCrew explains exactly what we are – a group of women.
How do we see Social Media?
Unlike other platforms where you post as an individual, to a personal wall or stream, on GirlCrew, all the posts are within groups. There are topic groups such as careers, travel, dating advice and entrepreneurs as well as city groups. It’s about the community, rather than individuals. We encourage groups chats and events. We also believe real friendship happens in person, which is why offline events are so important to us.
Currently we are….
Initially it was just the three founders. Now we have two full-time software engineers, and three part-time employees who help with marketing, communications and administration. We always try to recruit from within our community first.
We hit 10,000 members just over a year after we formed, and doubled that within six months. The groups now have more than 100,000 members across 46 cities worldwide, including Dublin, London, Melbourne, Toronto, Edinburgh and New York. In 2017, our membership numbers across all groups grew from 77,074 at the start of January to 130,946 at the end of December.
We launched our app in the summer of 2017, and our main focus going forward is adding more groups on that.
Our biggest challenge was..
None of us know how to code, and we had no experience in hiring or managing software engineers. We initially outsourced the development of our app which was a big mistake.
Thankfully we got an amazing technical advisor on board, who was able to guide us through everything. We had to start over from scratch again, but we did it, and brought development in-house. Without our tech advisor, we wouldn’t have know if the developers we were interviewing were bluffing/making things up, and we might have made some more costly decisions.
We want to dominate the world by..
We have demand for GirlCrew everywhere, and a waiting list of more than 100 cities worldwide where women have requested GirlCrew. We plan to make it really easy for women to find information, tips or recommendations on anything, and to meet other women in their area for friendship and activities such as hikes, lunch, nights out and shopping. We want no woman to every feel alone. No matter where they are, they can join us and chat to other women. Even if we haven’t launched in their city, they can do this.
Also Read: Social Media Platform Feature – Dogether
We’re making moolah by…
GirlCrew makes money from a number of different channels, including advertising, events, partnerships and subscriptions. We have a premium subscription offering, where we charge a monthly fee for. Premium members get four hosted events per month, as well as various discounts and their own private group. We organise careers events called GirlCrew Pro which we charge for tickets, as well as entrepreneur dinners called the Female Founders Supper Club. Microsoft is our main partner for GirlCrew Pro, and Dell EMC is our main partner for the Female Founders Supper Club. We don’t have in-app advertising yet, put we plan to roll that out in the future.
Our What The **** Moment
We have no GirlCrew groups in Japan, but one day a girl posted in our travel group to say she had ended up travelling around Japan by herself, as the person she was travelling with returned home. She was all alone in Japan and wondered if anyone else was there. A member from another group happened to be there, also travelling alone. They met up the following day for drinks in Kyoto! It made us realise the world really is a small place.
Industry as we foresee
We think the Indian social media industry will continue to grow, especially with everything moving to mobile first. Everyone is becoming more obsessed with video, and we think more video orientated social networks will pop up as a result. More and more businesses will provide customer service through social media, and chat bots will become the norm.
Lastly, are you hiring?
We are not hiring right now, but we will be looking to expand our team of software engineers in the next 6 months, hiring developers with good experience in Ruby on Rails 5.1.