Left: Rachael Annabelle Yong, Founder & Product Lead of gulliver | Right: Matt, Tech Lead
Although COVID-19 has restricted many of us from travelling across the globe, it couldn’t stop this Singaporean team of young entrepreneurs from going forth to connect the intellectually curious with one another.
gulliver was founded in the thick of the global pandemic in 2020 by Rachael Annabelle Yong. Together with her partner and software lead, Matt, they have won over $60k in equity-free funding through multiple competitions and awards.
Exclusivity makes the gulliver social app even more outstanding
So what is gulliver?
gulliver is a Singapore-based invite-only social app that connects expats with locals based on their ambitions, background, lifestyle, and experiences.
Notice how I mentioned nothing about appearances?
Unlike Tinder, Bumble, and other dating apps that most of us use to connect with new people, gulliver makes it a point to take appearances out of the picture in literal terms and help their users find a truly deep connection that is not only skin deep.
What’s even more unique about them is the fact that you can be linked up with someone of the same gender simply because of your interests and profile. It is more of a social app than your typical dating app alternatives.
“We realize that the people we have been attracting are a little bit more curated in a sense whereby they are pretty interested in either finance, tech, or startups,” said Rachael, “so I guess they are more of the intellectually curious people because they don’t really judge you based on your face; your story or what you have been doing so far matters more here.” She added.
A social app for Singaporean introverts and extroverts alike
The vision for gulliver is to be the first thing that people think about when they move to a new city.
Extroverts would naturally have an easier time initiating meetups so the app becomes like an extension of yourself where you are introduced to the other party in a rather interesting and unique manner.
For the more introverted individuals, the gulliver enables you to start conversations in a low-pressure and comfortable space to firstly chat and then explore meet-ups with the other party who has been hand-picked for you based on your similarities.
Ultimately, the app’s goal is to be something that facilitates your search for new connections and to grow your circle as you settle down in a new part of the world, or for you to connect with expats.
Positive feedback from gulliver's users inspires Rachael and her team.
Managing a startup means wearing different hats and having the ability to switch and adapt accordingly. In addition, Rachael also has a full-time job to focus on so one can only imagine the workload she handles.
Rachael shared that running a startup comes with its “trademark” set of concerns such as self-doubt which results in emotionally challenging phases. However, as she recalled the tough periods, she noted that surrounding herself with positive friends and her family made the journey more endurable.
Having positive feedback from gulliver’s users also gave her and her team the validation and motivation that they needed. This shows that what they were doing was something that served others in a useful manner.
Now, gulliver has users from Singapore, California, Miami, New York, Italy, Indonesia and other places.
“It’s these kinds of small wins on the day-to-day that pushes us forward.” Rachael elaborated.
gulliver: A visual platform that connects people with one another
Various Destinations in Different Countries
The grander mission that Rachael has for gulliver is to forge it as a tool that leaves a positive footprint in nation-building. How? By encouraging a change of perception that individuals have of various places or countries.
As a photographer herself, she understands the impact visuals and imagery has on people’s perception. With gulliver, a visual platform that connects people with one another, her mission and vision come together like perfectly fitted puzzle pieces.
“Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and travel somewhere out of your comfort zone to experience what life has to offer and come alive – with gulliver, we make that dream possible.”
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