Find a perfect match for your pooch on this website
By Sonali Shenoy | Published: 15th September 2016 05:01 AM |
CHENNAI: Leave it to a 16-year-old to come up with a dating site for dogs. Eleventh grader Sirish Singaram’s portal Cotingo.com is “sort of like a Tinder for pets!” However, to be proper, the youngster adds, “I thought maybe the word ‘dating’ might sound a tad crude, so instead I’ve opted for ‘pet meetups’.”
Here’s how it works. You can find a match for your canine by filling in a simple form. This filters out basics like gender, age, breed and also for convenience the location of the pet you are looking for as a future pet pal. Once this is done, a number of pet profiles that meet your filtered criteria pop up, all very similar to online dating — or in this case, potential mating.
But Sirish clarifies, “For me the focus of this platform is to facilitate fun play dates for pets, not to encourage mating.” The inspiration for the site, which was launched two weeks ago, came from a show that this student of Sishya School happened to come across while watching TV. “I remember watching a show on Discovery channel in which pets were getting married,” he recalls with a laugh, adding, “And that’s when the idea of a dating site for pets clicked.”
However, the concept quickly catapulted into a multitude of other avenues to help pet owners. Long discussions with his parents and friends led to tabs on the site like an online directory for veterinarians, an adoption platform and a pet store for everything from processed food to bedding.
While the site is up and running, Sirish admits that between schoolwork and an upcoming excursion, there is still much to be done in terms of collaborating with pet stores and animal welfare groups to facilitate adoptions. “I have a meeting with Blue Cross this week,” the teenager announces, sounding very official. Also, around a dozen pet store owners were surprised to have a school goer walk in and offer them a business deal.
For funding, he surprises us, “I’ve already got meetings lined up with a bunch of venture capitalists in Bengaluru over the next couple of weeks. And because of my age, most of them seem very excited to help me out.”
If you’re wondering what Cotingo means, it’s Spanish for ‘we are’ and Sirish lets on, “That’s exactly what I wanted this venture for pets and pet owners to be, a community.”
Cotingo.com is still in its early stages, but should be fully functional by the first week of October.