KJ Dhaliwal
KJ Dhaliwal

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — When Dil Mil CEO saw Tinder wasn’t working for his friends and family, he envisioned the parameters for what he thought would be a much more effective dating app — one that would be much more inclusive of the needs of the South Asian community, where dating can be taboo and arranged marriages still occur.

About 90 percent of South Asians marry within their own community, according to Dhaliwal, and they need their own app to meet other singles, he said.

His matchmaking app, Dil Mil, has now made more than 1.3 million matches and Dhaliwal said the startup’s matches are resulting in an average of three marriages per week. The money in Silicon Valley has taken notice, and the company recently raised an additional $2.7 million in seed funding from CSC Upshot, Maiden Lane Ventures, Nelstone Ventures and Transmedia Capital, as well as Naval Ravikant, Kunal Shah, Sameer Parwani and Vijay Ullal.

It’s a large increase from the seed funding Dil Mil raised from Match.com founder Will Bunker, 500 Startups and others in 2015. To date, the company has raised $3.8 million in seed funding.

Unlike the majority of mobile dating apps, which only show a variety of potential suitors based on geography, Dil Mil allows users to search for singles anywhere in the world. The app is currently most popular in the U.S., but there are several other users in the UK, Canada and, increasingly, India.

“About half of our matches are long distance,” Dhaliwal said.

Dil Mil has recently begun testing ways to help its users with long-distance matches make a more personal connection. The company is beta testing its new video chat feature, and sometime in the future, hopes to use virtual reality to simulate dates for its long distance users.

Perhaps an even greater endorsement for the app is the parents of those who use it, whom Dhaliwal said are encouraging in the process. Especially with mothers and their daughters.

“They tell their kids to get on it,” he said.