Tinder for shy types earns millions for millennial developer

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 29 2017 06:05 AM

MANILA - Valenice Balace quit her job in a telecommunications company to build a dating app for conservative Filipinas like her and the gamble has so far paid off by $100,000 (P5 million).

Peekawoo allows users to strike up conversations within the app on a variety of topics, unlike US-made Tinder, which matches users based solely on whether or not they like each other.

With Peekawoo as its flagship product, Honest Worldwide has earned $100,000 and grew its workforce to 50 from 4 in 5 years, Balace said.

"If the customers are happy, they will be willing to pay for it," she said in a recent forum of app developers for Google's Android platform.

Peekawoo charges P749 a month for users to access its full features. Tinder charges up to P999 per month.

"I think what made me do it was I really wanted to do something different with my life and like I was young. If ever I fail it's okay because you have the license to fail," she said.

At 29, Balace is CEO and managing partner of Honest Worldwide, which operates Peekawoo.

The millennial technology entrepreneur said it was intimidating starting a business at 23, but she believed Peekawoo is a "product that works."

"You have to be kind of confident and try to do baby steps, I think what makes it scary is if you think of the ending right away," she said.

"But if you think like task per task its actually quiet easy. Before you know it you're in the middle already," she said.