Ex Smokoo team develops dating site

The co-founder of closed penny auction site Smokoo, Thomas Pays, has launched an online dating site directed at women.

Adopthim.com went live on Sunday and has gathered a handful of followers since launch. Pays says the team spent a year developing the portal and will now start marketing it with the aim of reaching 100 000 registered users in three months.

Pays says there are currently no dating sites focused on the South African market and he saw a gap in the industry.

The concept behind the site is to empower women, who get to initiate conversations with men based on the man’s endeavours to woo them with virtual gifts, says Pays. He says women in Africa are generally not empowered, or seen as equals, and cannot choose who they want to interact with.

Adopt Him also allows women to block people from viewing their profile or contacting them, unlike most available sites, says Pays. He explains that only portals such as Facebook have this functionality.

The Adopt Him team is based in Rivonia and is staffed by eight people, says Pays. He explains that the original Smokoo team dwindled after the company expanded internationally.

Smokoo went live in August 2010 and grew from three to 18 staff in a matter of a few months, before expanding to Russia, France, the UK and the US.

Adopt Him is free for women, and men can sign up at no charge during the month of May, notes Pays. He says the site uses the same encryption level as banking portals, as security is a “main” concern.