A tech startup based in Newcastle Upon Tyne developed the world’s first offline dating app, betting on the growing demand for online dating services. The app targets current online dating users in search of a more streamlined solution but also serves as a tempting innovation for traditional daters.

The Visavis app empowers users to establish offline dates, effortlessly. The team of Newcastle University graduates achieved this by replacing the traditional message-centric model, with a date-setup service. Unlike other dating apps, Visavis doesn’t allow you to message your matches. What you can do instead, is invite your matches to meet for coffee, drinks or food. After selecting the type of date, you proceed with proposing a nearby venue (coffee shop, bar or restaurant), followed by a date & time before sending the invitation. Your match will be notified, and they can respond within 24 hours by declining, rescheduling or accepting. If the invitation is accepted, the date is confirmed and congratulations — you are going on a date!

The splash screen of the Visavis dating app.

Based in Newcastle Upon Tyne and backed by institutions like Newcastle University and Ignite Accelerator, the technology startup wants to disrupt the online dating industry with its innovative model. Michalis Panayiotou, co-founder of Visavis, says: “Traditional dating apps do not actually want you to go on offline dates. They monetise on the online behaviour of users, so the more time they keep you online — swiping, matching and messaging, the more revenue they generate through in-app purchases. This fundamentally flawed approach is what motivated us to build Visavis. Our mission is to positively influence our social culture by redefining the relationship between people and technology. We imagine a world where people spend less time on their screens and more time connecting offline. Dating is undoubtedly best experienced with all five senses.”

Dating apps have skyrocketed in popularity and are now enjoying mainstream adoption. Fuelled by the diminishing stigma associated with their usage, online dating currently contributes £11.7 billion to the UK economy every year. The team launched Visavis in response to online daters growing increasingly frustrated with the existing solutions. Through user research, they identified that it takes on average 12 hours of dating app usage to yield less than 2 hours of offline interaction, and more than 80% of messages on dating apps go unanswered.

The startup has ambitious plans for the next 12 months, including a seed investment round, the development of the Android version and international expansion. You can find out more and download Visavis on the App Store.