When Priyanka, a social media manager, broke up with her boyfriend in 2013, she wanted something to distract her from the heartbreak.A few weeks later, a friend told her about an app to chat with guys."I decided to try it," says Priyanka, 23, who requested that her surname be withheld.
The app was Tinder, which entered India in 2012 to help millennials in the ageold quest for love.
For generations, the terms 'casual sex' and 'hook-up' were taboo, but Tinder has inspired a whole set of Indian dating platforms to bandy the words about.
When it made its foray, Tinder's competition was matrimonial websites Bharat Matrimony and Shaadi, but over the last four years, home-bred apps like Truly Madly, Woo and Aisle have thrown their hat into the ring to change the way young Indians meet.
Just following Tinder's model of offering matches based on location won't work in India because of the cultural differences, says Sachin Bhatia, who launched Truly Madly on Valentine's Day in 2014.
"Online dating is a 20-year-old phenomenon in the US but here in India, we have seen the real growth over the past year." Truly Madly screens people registering on the platform "because we only want genuine profiles of singles looking to meet new people," he says, adding that the rejection rate is 25%.
The verification process is done via Facebook, before checking identity proof and Linked In profiles.
DOING IT DIFFERENTLY Despite the lack of checks, the simplicity of swiping is working for Tinder.
In just three years, India has become Tinder's largest market in Asia.
Last month, the company opened an office in Delhi, its first outside the US.
In November 2015, Tinder said it saw a 400% increase in downloads in India in the past year, and women were more active than men.
Investors, however, are betting big (see box) on the fact that domestic players are not operating like Tinder.