Buffet’s new app tackles the loneliness epidemic by connecting individuals in the actual world

In case you’ve been feeling lonely over the previous few years, you’re not alone. In accordance with a 2023 report from the U.S. surgeon basic, about half of U.S. adults reported feeling lonely, even earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic. The report warns that loneliness and isolation can result in bodily penalties, equivalent to a 29% elevated threat of coronary heart illness and a 32% elevated threat of stroke.

A brand new app known as Buffet is aiming to handle the loneliness epidemic by serving to customers meet new individuals by rapidly matching them with an individual and a spot to satisfy up (suppose Tinder + OpenTable). The app is designed to take away the obstacles and hassles that include assembly new individuals after which looking for a spot to hang around. Buffet goals to assist customers meet likeminded people, whether or not they’re on the lookout for a brand new pal, romantic companion or fitness center buddy.

At launch, Buffet is out there in Los Angeles, with expansions deliberate for extra cities later this 12 months, beginning with New York Metropolis.

The app is the brainchild of Buffet CEO Wealthy Hacking and COO Sean Emery. The pair labored as monetary analysts earlier than beginning Buffet and got here up with the concept for the app whereas they had been on a enterprise journey in Dubai.

“We started throwing this idea around, and thought, hey, there’s something there,” Hacking advised TechCrunch. “We saw the loneliness epidemic and saw that the market was in need of something new. The massive incumbents have lacked innovation in the last decade. There was an obvious key opportunity for disruption. So we put one foot in front of the other and started building Buffet.”

To get began with Buffet, customers enter 5 of their pursuits, equivalent to bikes, horseback driving or studying. The app then asks a collection of 5 inquiries to get a greater understanding of their character and what sorts of locations and folks they’d be enthusiastic about.

Picture Credit: Buffet

Buffet’s algorithm then pairs customers. If , they will ship an invitation to the individual they’re matched with; the matched pair can then message one another by way of the app to resolve on a time and date to satisfy. Buffet is designed to permit individuals to do a lot of the speaking and getting-to-know-each-other in-person. Buffet encourages individuals to transcend a chatbox and digital communication and really meet up in the actual world.

If there’s a match with somebody, however the app-suggested assembly place isn’t a great match, customers can select from a listing of different locations that may be extra attention-grabbing. And if customers aren’t enthusiastic about their match companions, they will refresh and get matched with another person.

Buffet’s goal demographic is individuals who have been affected by the loneliness epidemic essentially the most: 18- to 25-year-olds. The app additionally desires to focus on younger professionals within the late to early 30s. Hacking believes that if Buffet can win over the typical 25-year-old feminine skilled, it could win over anybody.

“The app will be free to use for the foreseeable future,” Hacking mentioned. “We want to win over users. We want to build trust and right now, when you read the market, people are frustrated with all of the paywalls.”

By way of the app’s enterprise mannequin, Buffet will leverage promoting. The corporate plans to construct up an in-app group discussion board the place native companies would have the ability to promote on to customers and promote completely happy hours and different reductions.

The app is at the moment solely accessible on iOS, however the firm plans to launch an Android app sooner or later.