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Meet Daniel Newman, CEO Of Dandy: The Tech Startup Spearheading The “Live” Movement In Social Networking

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Just three short years ago, Newman began his journey as a full-time CEO of his very own tech startup named Dandy. He created the company with his partner and co-founder, Leor Massachi, while the two were seniors in college. We’ve got the full scoop on how Newman went from a Real Estate Development student to a full-time entrepreneur, all before earning his undergraduate degree.

Newman was born and raised in Beverley Hills, CA. Although he’s mainly American, he takes pride in inheriting a Persian background from both his mother and father. Early on in his younger years, he became interested in the various aspects of business and how they were created. He also enjoyed learning about the Israeli economy and the country’s positive outlook on young people developing their own startup companies.

When Newman got to high school, he became heavily involved in extracurricular activities and always did well in class. Not only was he named Senior Class President, but he was also involved in several sports and school clubs. As if that weren’t enough on his plate at 17, he also had the opportunity to get a taste of what it was like to build a business when he founded his own tutoring company during his junior year. He saw an opportunity arise when the younger kids in grades K-8 were complaining about their tutors being too old and not up-to-date with the material. Brilliantly, Newman asked some of his friends if they wanted to earn some money tutoring the students, and the rest was history. The company took off instantaneously, and Newman kept it running until he graduated in 2015.

Once he reached college, the grind continued. Newman decided to pursue a degree in Real Estate Development at the University of Southern California. Although he was indeed partially interested in the real estate portion of the program, he was far more captivated by the school’s innovative take on technology and its multifaceted ability to influence new businesses. At that point, he began to understand the building blocks of a tech startup, and he fell in love. Along the way, he met several friends, mentors, and executives that taught him the dos and don’ts about the complicated world of Silicon Valley. But regardless of the dire risks he was advised of, he knew his ultimate goal would be to someday establish a startup company of his own.

In the meantime, Newman founded his second small business with his then-roommate and best friend, Leor Massachi. The two college students created a design agency that helped businesses market toward the Gen Z demographic via custom-made interactive Geofilters on Snapchat. At the time, the social networking app had just begun allowing users to publicly submit Geofilters for a fee, but it had not provided any tools or instructions on how to create them. Due to the high design skillset and intricate strategy required for the process, Newman and Massachi saw it as a business opportunity and proceeded to create a company named Geocasion. Although the business only lasted a few months, the experience proved essential for what followed for these two college students. In addition to founding Geocasion, Newman also founded USC’s TAMID Tank event during his sophomore year, which is the school’s equivalent to the popular television show, Shark Tank. The competition was created to provide students with a real-life experience of pitching their startup concepts to big-name investors and venture capitalists. Their first event filled an auditorium of 500, and since then, TAMID Tank has held the event annually. The organization also named Newman their Vice President of Operations.

But things changed in 2018 when Newman’s roommate suggested the idea of creating a dating app for millennials and gen Z’s unlike the existing ones on the market. After sitting and brainstorming for hours in their dorm, they came up with a concept that was far too tangible to pass up. They wanted to create a version of a dating app that would mimic two people meeting in person for the first time. Users would log onto the app once it went “live”, and they would have an allotted time to attempt to find their match and start a conversation. Once two users established they were interested, they’d be transferred into a three-minute video call where they could formally introduce themselves and decide whether or not to move forward with communication off the application. They called the app Dandy and instantly began searching for the perfect engineers to develop the product. 3 months later, the app launched its beta testing.

Dandy blew up all over USC, and eventually, all over Los Angeles. People were excited to try this new version of virtual dating and claimed that it was a “magical” app since it cut around the BS and got straight to the point of building new relationships. At this point, Newman and his Massachi began to pitch Dandy to investors in hopes to raise funds for the app’s future development. After hearing 117 no’s, they received their first yes, as well as their first check from an investor. Once the first came, many others followed, and soon enough Dandy has fundraised over $3.3 million in a matter of months from investors involved in companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Snapchat, and Facebook. Newman took over all finance and logistic aspects of the company while Massachi handled the marketing strategy and creative.

Things were running smoothly until word of a pandemic began to consume the news in February 2020. The two business owners called an emergency meeting and decided it was the perfect time to rebrand Dandy into something more applicable to the possible consequences of a national pandemic. In just a few hours, they came up with the idea for Zoom University– a virtual dating app with the same “live” concept of Dandy, but with two-on-two video calls resembling that of a double date. Since some users had commented that Dandy could become stressful and awkward during the short video calls, the founders hoped that having a user bring a friend would help turn the tension into fun. The next day after the meeting, the team had a web MVP of Zoom University uploaded and a rough draft of the app immediately went live. In honor of their first creation, they decided to keep the name of their now product-based startup company as Dandy.

Since then, Zoom University has gained traction all over the internet; including Tiktok, which had a video about the app hit impressions of over 2.5 million views. Users were scrambling to get their hands on this new dating app. In just a matter of weeks, a waitlist of thousands of users began to accumulate while the Dandy teamed continued to finalize the details behind the app that was only originally meant to stay live for a week. Positive feedback came pouring in from users, and eventually, the application broke records as it made it through the Top 10 Best Social Networking Apps on the Apple Store, coming in at #9.

Four businesses and two successful startups later, 23-year-old Newman says his success has come from knowing how to take high-level concepts and applying them to a realistic, practical lens. Although his achievements have skyrocketed over the years, he shares that the work has only just begun. He and his partner are currently working with investors on their next top-secret product that is reckoned to top all their prior inventions and take the market by storm once again. Details cannot yet be disclosed, but we wait eagerly to see how a few college seniors will continue to dominate the startup world with their commitment and dedication to changing the world through the use of advanced technology.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Business

VPNRanks Report Uncovers User Discontent with Majority of VPN Services

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A groundbreaking report by VPNRanks reveals significant user dissatisfaction with the majority of VPN services, showing that 89% of VPNs globally fail to meet user satisfaction standards. This revelation comes at a critical time when digital security is paramount, and the demand for reliable VPN services continues to rise.

The Importance of User Satisfaction in the VPN industry

According to industry statistics from Global Market Insights, the global VPN market size was valued at USD 45 billion in 2022 and is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 20% from 2023 to 2032. Driven by the growing instances of cybercrimes and data thefts, coupled with the increasing proliferation of wireless devices and digital infrastructures across industries, user satisfaction remains a critical challenge for many providers. High user satisfaction is essential for customer retention, brand reputation, and long-term success in the competitive VPN market.

“User satisfaction is the cornerstone of success in the VPN industry. In a market flooded with options, it’s the real user experiences that set the leading providers apart. VPNScore helps users navigate this complex landscape by highlighting services that excel in meeting user expectations,” said Muhammad Saleem Ahrar, COO of webAffinity, the team behind VPNRanks.

VPNRanks is a leading VPN review platform that leverages sentiment analysis to provide comprehensive and unbiased reviews of VPN services. Its VPNScore is based on an AI-driven analysis of publicly available user reviews. The platform aims to simplify the process of identifying the best VPN provider tailored to each user’s unique needs.

VPNRanks Untangles Complex Findings on Key Features

VPNRanks evaluated four key features — ease of use, ease of setup, ability to meet user requirements, and quality of support — to identify the VPN companies that excel at customer satisfaction. To determine a final rank for each metric, VPNRanks combined a popularity score, which contributed 20 percent of the total, with a satisfaction score, which contributed 80 percent.

The study sifted through reviews on 93 paid VPN companies to determine the top providers. The VPNRanks report, issued in June 2024, provides rankings for each key feature and overall customer satisfaction. ExpressVPN achieved the top VPNScore — 6.29 out of 10 — for overall satisfaction globally. The next four top companies in that category, listed in descending order, are PureVPN, NordVPN, PrivateVPN, and Surfshark.

By assessing a variety of categories, the VPNRanks study reveals the challenges users face when trying to identify the best option to meet their needs. For example, NordVPN received a nearly perfect popularity score of 9.46 out of 10 but only a 4.7 satisfaction score. PrivateVPN received a satisfaction score of 6.69 out of 10, which rivaled ExpressVPN’s score in that category, but received a popularity score of only 1.23 out of 10.

The global rankings for ease of use illustrate how challenging identifying a quality provider can be. VeePN received a very high satisfaction score of 7.18 out of 10 while receiving a popularity score of less than 1 out of 10. The findings reveal a gap between user experience and market penetration that can effectively keep the best option hidden from the consumer.

The VPNRanks report gives users insight into satisfaction and popularity while providing a balanced assessment via its VPNScore. “Users should choose based on their priorities, whether it’s user satisfaction, market presence, or a balanced option,” the report states.

VPNRanks Shows Providers How to Become More Competitive

In addition to serving as a guide for consumers, VPNRanks also maps out a pathway for VPN providers seeking greater market share. The VPN providers that consistently appear in the top spots on the VPNRanks charts are those that have achieved a balance between popularity and user satisfaction. Those who neglect one or the other cannot keep pace with market leaders.

The report explains that those with high satisfaction scores but low popularity “might be well-loved by their users but need to increase their market visibility to compete more effectively.” Achieving overall success in the VPN market requires balancing user satisfaction with market presence, it advises.

Conclusion

As the need for VPN services continues to grow, businesses can expect to see more providers enter the market, making the task of identifying the best option more difficult. The insights VPNRanks provides stand as a timely beacon, guiding users to providers who can satisfy their needs and support their operations.

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