Platform Feature – Banihal


About the Platform

We all need to make the most important decision about who to marry. During that search we meet individuals with whom we don’t feel an overwhelming confidence to say “Yes”. Banihal makes introductions with individuals who can complete your sentences and create connections where both individuals are confident in saying “Yes”. Banihal uses data about individuals and a psychology based profile when they become members to find matches that have the same world view. Banihal has developed an artificial intelligence based matchmaking engine called “Rae” that can predict the right match with 90% accuracy. Ishdeep and Upender are the co-founders of Banihal and worked with Apple and Microsoft as engineers before starting Banihal.

Whom do we cater to?

Banihal is focused on matchmaking for professionals in metros in India in the age group 25-30.

What do we offer to our consumers?

Banihal makes finding the one individual you care about meeting when you are serious about getting married. Banihal makes introductions by predicting compatibility between a boy and a girl and this is shown for each match with 3 gold rings. This makes it easy to see the most compatible match and connect with them in real life. The most compatible match is shown with a diamond ring, next is 3 gold rings and subsequently 2 gold rings and 1 gold ring. There is no search or swiping so members are focused on communicating.

What motivated us to start up?

In 2009, our founder, Ishdeep Sawhney, turned 30 and knew he was ready to get married. He just didn’t know how. Like most of us, he had made some good connections, but had yet to find the perfect match.

It was this difficult search that sparked a powerful realization for him. There must be a more effective way to find someone whose values are intuitively aligned with his own. How could he find that person who understands him so well that she could finish his sentences and he finish hers?

To help improve his chances of finding that kind of intuitively aligned partner, Ishdeep began reimagining how people search. He turned to neuroscience to learn about the way people make decisions. From his research, he created a series of questions to ask potential spouses, each question designed to identify shared values between them.

After the introduction, he would ask this fixed set of questions to every potential partner. Some found it challenging to answer them, but admitted they understood what they wanted a little better afterwards. Most of them didn’t match. A few were close. But one was off the charts.

It didn’t matter to Ishdeep that they had not yet met in person. He flew to Delhi to meet her on a Saturday and they were married the following Sunday. They now have two children and a relationship built on a foundation of shared values. They enjoy life together and are also discovering their own paths and passions.

The series of questions that brought Ishdeep and his wife together have now evolved into a powerful artificial intelligence system called Rae. This is the engine that makes Banihal the best way to find your perfect match and finally gives you the ability to meet someone you can confidently commit to.

What’s in a name?

Banihal is the town between Jammu and Srinagar and has the longest tunnel in India. On one side of the tunnel is rocky and hot Jammu and the other side is much cooler and beautiful Kashmir valley. Getting married is like going through this tunnel and life is completely transformed on the other side.

How do we see Social Media?

Social media has made it easy to be in touch with our members and wider community and Banihal has an active Facebook and Twitter presence. Social media is great to keep a constant contact with our community and share the important research around relationships which is interesting for our community.

Also Read: Platform Feature – Swoo

Currently we are….

We have developed the artificial intelligence system Rae which is completely autonomous in making matches. We collaborated with Balki to do an ad campaign with “Ki and Ka” and that was a significant step in bringing this advanced technology to a wider audience.

Our biggest challenge was..

We are the first matchmaking company to use advanced artificial intelligence to do fully autonomous matchmaking and it has taken years to develop the system. We can now make successful matches so that 90% of people connect who are matched with a diamond ring compatibility. There is no other system with this level of proven success.

We want to dominate the world by..

Our focus has been on metros and we see organic growth in Tier 2 cities. We look forward to making matchmaking as easy as a Google search in India.

Also Read: Platform Feature – Flochat

We’re making moolah by…

We plan to start charging for our service in the next 12 months.

Our What The **** Moment

To be called “Love Guru” by Shereen Bhan on Young Turks

Industry as we foresee

We see social media as a key starting point in forming opinions in our culture and it’s a platform which will have new individuals become significant taste makers that we don’t know about today.

Lastly, Are you hiring?

We are not hiring at present.