Nevine Coutry, a London based entrepreneur, has something to celebrate. A year ago, after months of hard work and long evenings, she finally did it.
The Londoner launched the UK’s first dating app aimed exclusively at single parents.
How did this come about? City A.M. sat down with Coutry to hear this Londoner’s unique story.
She ran a successful marketing agency but when Covid struck she found herself without work. During lockdown Coutry worked on Playdate and launched the app in April 2021.
Since it launched the app has recently celebrated it’s first anniversary and has proved to be successful given that its userbase is growing fast.
The story of Playdate
Coutry began her career in her home country of Egypt working as a marketing manager for a large development and tourism company.
After moving to the UK in 2012 she established a successful marketing agency, Vcom Marketing, which grew rapidly supporting overseas companies and startup with UK representation and marketing services.
The company specialised mainly in tourism and events, so when the pandemic hit, Nevine lost all of her clients and business overnight and was left with nothing.
“I spent all of the first year of lockdown without a job and without any income. It was a very scary time”, Coutry told City A.M.. “As a single parent, with no support, it was a very difficult and stressful period for me.”
“I became a single parent in 2016 when our son was just 3 years old. I found it difficult to meet people and to put myself out there when I was ready to move on.”
“People lead very busy lifestyles in London, and especially as a single parent, you don’t get time off, ever!”Nevine Coutry
“I always had this idea of a dating app just for single parents but when business was good, I just didn’t have the time to truly pursue the idea.”
Then lockdown happened and Coutry had all the time in the world.
“I then decided to start Playdate. The name came to me very quickly and I knew it would work. Playdate is a term that all parents know and use to arrange playdates for their children, so it was a fun play on words. This Playdate is for adults! Because why should we not enjoy ourselves and look out for ourselves?”
Coutry started researching the market and realised that out of the 1,400 dating sites and app available in the UK, not one of them catered solely to single parents.
“I found a developer to help me create the app as I had no tech background at all, but I knew that with my marketing background, and the fact that I was the target audience myself, I could make this work,” she explained.
As a single parent, a major hurdle to dating is childcare.
“Finding a nanny or babysitter to look after your kids so that you can go out. So I decided to partner with the UK’s leading sitter and nanny app called Bubble, who loved the idea of the app and agreed to become a key part of our features.”
Users of Playdate can book instant babysitters at a discount, which is “a massive value” add for single parents, she stressed.
“With just under 3 million single parents in the UK, the market is huge for single parent dating.”Nevine Coutry
After a year, Coutry launched Playdate in April 2021 on both app stores and the feedback was overwhelming, as she put it.
One year on, the app has over 20,000 users.
“We listened to our users and their feedback on the app to improve it and optimise it.”
Only recently, to celebrate the app’s first anniversary, Country launched a new app update with a new UI/UX and enhanced features to make it more appealing and user friendly for users.
“My dream is for Playdate to go global, and to become the world’s leading dating app for single parents,” Coutry concluded.
“Next we plan to launch in Europe, the US, and the Middle East and make it to the top of the world’s best dating apps.”