In a society which scorns and looks down at marriage infidelity or extra-marital relations, a website called Gleeden whose modus operandi is to promote the exact same things, is gaining a lot of traction. It already has over 100,000 subscribers—121,500, to be precise and is run by a team of 20 women. Overall, Gleeden a France based company has around 3.5 million subscribers worldwide.
Revenue flowing in
The website is free for female subscribers, but for men the site offers different subscription packages starting at Rs 700. Interestingly, the subscription packages for men are not defined by time, but by the number of conversations an individual engages in. The website has been earning quite decently at earned $20-25 million in the year ended March. Since the entire team consists of women, the founders feel that women should be given preference in the site.
The sole purpose of this website to create a secure environment for extra-marital flings while not jeopardizing the marriage. The company, which has operations in several European countries, Latin America and Brazil is now eyeing India to cash in on the $130 million online dating market in the country.
Indian Expansion Plans
Of the total subscribers Gleeden has in India, 75% are men. There are only 31,200 Indian women subscribers on Gleeden’s website; 90,300 are men. The maximum traffic is coming from Mumbai, followed by New Delhi and then Bengaluru.
The online dating market in India has been dominated by applications (for single individuals) like Tinder, Truly Madly, Woo, Thrill and Happn and it has been estimated that there are a reported 6 million singles registered on several online dating applications across the country.
The dating market is primarily driven by the increasing internet penetration and the number of smartphone users across the country.
Solène Paillet, head of communications and manager at Gleeson has said “In India, we had natural subscriptions without any sort of marketing or advertising. People were interested in the website. We are growing month after month here and now, we want to market the product. Culturally speaking, infidelity is not accepted well in India. Indians are using the website more for flirting, which is the first step. The idea is new in India but people are catching up”
However, since its launch, Gleeden has received criticism for allowing married members. The site has been severely criticized for allowing married people to identify their status and interests on their profile. The company Gleeden claim “in an age where divorce is 40-60% among newlyweds and 33% among those married for 10 years, many times extramarital affairs can intervene as therapy for a couple. Gleeden is a facilitator of confidence where married couples can disregard the taboo and explore their desires safely.
The age of the average Gleeden member ranges from 25 to 45 years old, and the majority of its members have completed more than 18 years of education. Gleeden is present as an app both on the Google Play Store and the Apple App store.
While it remains an overly controversial service, there’s no denying that Gleeden is witnessing rapid growth and expansion in India without spending a dime on marketing. Perhaps there’s enough room in the Indian market for all sorts of services.