The Scoop: Since 2016, Project 143 has established itself as a premier matchmaking company for Asian singles in the UK. Its network has welcomed hundreds of intelligent and hardworking professionals who are tired of online dating. Aneeka Patel founded Project 143 to remove the uncertainty from dating and help singles make genuine connections with people who share similar cultural values and life goals. Her premium service has benefited many daters, but Aneeka wants to make matchmaking a viable option for any South Asian seeking a date in the UK. In 2018, she launched an innovative pay-per-date system that provides a clear value to clients. So far, Project 143’s budget-friendly plan has been a huge hit with singles who want to know their money is being put to good use. 

Paying for a service upfront can be nerve-wracking for customers. Especially if they’re handing over a lot of money with no guarantees. You wouldn’t give a real estate agency your down payment without knowing if they’re going to be able to find you a house. And yet some singles pay matchmaking agencies thousands of dollars and receive no guarantees that they’ll actually find the person they’re looking for.

Photo of Aneeka Patel, Founder of Project 143

Aneeka Patel founded Project 143 after graduating from the Matchmaker Academy in 2016.

Project 143, a UK-based matchmaking firm, recognizes the need for greater accountability in the matchmaking industry, and the Founder, Aneeka Patel, has come up with an ingenious solution.

Aneeka said she put herself in the shoes of the client and thought about what she would want from a matchmaking service. And it wasn’t to hand over thousands of dollars with no guarantees. She decided to lower the cost and risk of hiring a matchmaker by offering a unique pay-as-you-go system to South Asian professionals in the UK.

While Project 143 still maintains its traditional high-end matchmaking plan, it has also expanded to offer a more affordable Pay-Per-Date program. “It’s good to give clients more options,” Aneeka said. “We were finding fewer and fewer people were interested in premium services, so we developed a membership plan that would be accessible to everyone.”

Project 143 began as a London-only matchmaking firm, but the team is planning to expand to cities throughout the UK, particularly Birmingham and Leicester where there is a significant Asian population.

A Fair System Ensures Members Get Good Value for Money

The Pay-Per-Date program offers a transparent and straightforward matching system based on the client’s needs and desires. Members of this program create a dating profile and enter the Project 143 database. Then the matchmakers curate a list of potential matches and facilitate first dates between the people in their network. They don’t use algorithms to bring people together; instead, they rely on human intuition and years of matchmaking experience.

Photo of a Project 143 ad

Project 143 gives clients a high-quality and swiping-free dating environment.

New members pay 50 pounds for a Lifetime Membership, and then they pay an extra 40 pounds for every date they agree to go on. Membership to this program will never expire, so clients can go on as many high-quality dates as they like until they meet that special someone.

“This is a different way of matchmaking,” she said. “The reason why we decided to do this is it provides clients with personalized matchmaking, and it also allows real dates to take place.”

Unlike the premium service, the pay-per-date system makes no guarantees about the number of matches a client will receive because that will vary from person to person. The matching system is dependent on the singles database and the client’s personal preferences.

Aneeka described the new payment plan as a win-win for both clients and matchmakers. She said the pay-per-date system takes a lot of pressure off matchmakers because they know the client is paying exactly what the service is worth. The team also doesn’t have to spend time recruiting for these clients because it’s a database-only service. This saves them time while still providing plenty of dating opportunities to the client.

Verified Dates Give Busy Professionals Added Peace of Mind

Project 143 is a quality-first matchmaking company, which means the team thoroughly interviews and screens every new client. Aneeka said they’re looking for a certain type of person — someone who’s intelligent, progressive, successful, interesting, and attractive. Basically, they’re looking for an Asian single who’s the whole package.

The people who join Project 143 are welcomed into a club of eligible men and women. These matchmakers don’t accept just anyone. They check every new registrant and prospective client out on LinkedIn to verify that the person is Asian, lives in the UK, and has a legitimate profession.

“Project 143 reminded me that the process of meeting people doesn’t have to be daunting. It can be fun and exciting.” — N.P., a Project 143 client

Project 143 targets professionals so it makes sense that it would use the world’s largest professional network to conduct background checks and verify identities. By making sure everyone is who they say they are, the matchmaking company gives singles another layer of confidence in every match.

“They really do vet their clients — the quality of my matches have been great,” said J.S., a 38-year-old dentist and Project 143 client. “The coaching at Project 143 has been life-changing. After a bad divorce, I feel ready to date again.”

Living Up to the Promise of No Algorithms & No Games

Swiping on dating apps can be incredibly frustrating for someone eager to make a real romantic connection. The superficial interface and flaky users can wear singles down over time — which is usually when they seek out professional dating services.

The matchmakers at Project 143 speed up the introductory phase by encouraging clients to go out on dates ASAP. Once they make a match (i.e. both parties have agreed to go on a date), the matchmakers set up the date and facilitate the exchange of contact information on the day of the date. “We do this because there’s less of a chance of ghosting that way,” Aneeka said. “It’s a way of getting singles to meet each other in person and have a conversation on a date.”

The matchmakers also offer post-date feedback to help clients improve their dating skills over time. Project 143 also has dating coaching as an add-on service to its matchmaking packages.

So far, the pay-as-you-go matchmaking package has been wildly popular among Asian singles in the UK. Aneeka said she has noticed that prospective clients sign up to her services much more quickly than they used to. They no longer need as much time to think about it. As soon as they hear about the innovative payment system, they’re on board.

“It’s been amazing,” she said. “Every single inquiry over the last few days has led to a new signup. That never happens.”

Aneeka said she foresees the Pay-Per-Date program becoming the company’s most popular service, overtaking the premium plan as daters seek a more affordable system.

Project 143 Makes Its Services More Accessible to All

No matter how experienced, skilled, or confident a matchmaker is, he or she can’t really promise that a client will fall in love on an arranged date. All they can do is pair people up and hope for the best. Project 143 doesn’t try to make grandiose claims or false promises — instead these matchmakers have set up reasonable payment plans that let clients know exactly what to expect.

The Pay-Per-Date program is Aneeka’s way of prioritizing the client’s peace of mind and encouraging singles to take a chance on love. Singles who sign up for this plan don’t have to worry that they’ll be wasting their money because they’re in control of how much they spend. Every time they agree to a match, they pay a small fee and see immediate results.

By implementing a value-based payment structure, Aneeka has made matchmaking less intimidating and more affordable for Asian singles in the UK. “Matchmakers sometimes get bad press because of how high the prices are,” she said. “I wanted clients to feel like they’re getting something for what they’re paying.”

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