Erika (left) and Will (right) Palmer, Co-founders of Cupla. Image supplied.
If you’re struggling to fit in quality time with your significant other, Cupla is a new app for couples that is designed to help. It was founded by an entrepreneurial Kiwi couple, Erika (nee Amoore, founder of Synthony) and Will Palmer (founder of Movio), and is described as the ultimate Date Night app. Cupla aims to reduce the time and stress many couples experience when trying to book amazing date nights by syncing your calendars in one easy to access place. It then helps you to easily find and dedicate free time together and plan and book incredible date nights in just a few clicks.
To take the stress out of finding somewhere to go, Cupla has integrated software technology that effortlessly partners with leading restaurants allowing a ‘Book Now’ function for quick and easy, real time bookings. Cupla have partnered with over 800 restaurants partners including The Grove, Soul Bar, Baduzzi, Nanam, Copia, Saint Alice and more, and they’re also looking to add the ability to book movies and events in the coming months too.
Cupla is available now for download on Apple iOS with Hints and Book Now functionality via the App Store, search ‘Cupla’. Android users are able to take advantage of the ingenious calendar syncing option with Hints and Book Now to be released for Android later in the year.
For further Auckland specific date night suggestions check out Cupla’s Date Night Guide available on Instagram.
We caught up with Erika and Will to find out more about Cupla, what the response has been like to it and their top tips for an enjoyable date night?
How did Cupla come about and what was the process like for creating and testing it?
We were away for the weekend at a remote location with no cell or Wifi and began discussing how much better we were following date night. This led to the question, ‘If we are so much happier after virtually every date night, why do we sometimes go weeks without going on a date? And when we do go on date night, what could we do to make it even better?’
When we arrived back, we immediately began searching for apps that could help us go on better date nights, more often. What we discovered was that there were more than 10 apps valued at more than $1B, focused on dating when you were single, but nothing of any note when you graduated to a relationship, yet 2.4x as many adults are in a relationship then are single.
This coupled with research out of the University of Virginia showing a couple is 2.5x more likely to be divorce prone if they go on a date less than once a week, meant we had to have a go at this.
We engaged an app designer and created and continuously iterated a prototype that could be shared and tested with couples until we felt we had a consensus on the problem and had validated the feature set that we wanted to build as the potential solution.
Can you tell us how it works?
Cupla is a relationship management app that focuses on couples spending better time together. This starts by syncing each other’s calendars, setting work hours and establishing a date frequency goal to manage the couples shared schedule but more importantly, so a couple can find the space in their weeks to be together.
Once a couple has found the time, Cupla provides restaurant, event and movie recommendations (coming soon) that you can save to what we call Hints and share these with your partner. When it is your turn to book date night, you know when you are both available, what your partner would like to do and can book the date, including direct bookings with over 800 restaurants in NZ all within the Cupla App.
By making it easy to book epic date nights, it is our vision that couples book more dates, which leads to happier couples, which in turn leads to happier families and communities.
Cupla helps you book amazing date nights by syncing your calendars and offering restaurant suggestions in one easy to access place.
What has the response been like since you launched the app?
The pandemic has certainly affected what date night options are available, despite this, more than 3000 dates have been booked since we launched on Feb 17th. We expect this number to sky rocket as NZ returns to some level of normality in the upcoming months.
What did you learn about your relationship through working on Cupla together?
Embarking on this journey has further cemented the importance of spending quality time together. As any founder will know, start-ups are all consuming at the best of times. In our case we are business partners during the day and husband and wife at night, so having a regular date night helps provide a boundary between our work and our marriage.
How would you describe your perfect date together?
It starts with the build up, knowing you have something to look forward to later in the week. In preparation, we both get dressed up, whilst enjoying a pre-dinner drink at home. We are both serious foodies, so the perfect date involves some form of culinary adventure to a new restaurant or an old favourite, even better if we can watch the chef’s at work. In Auckland, we love Mr Morris, Azabu, Ghost Donkey and Ada. The best part however is the afterglow and reconnection.
What are your top tips for an enjoyable date night?
Make your partner feel special by planning every aspect of your date, including babysitters, the Uber or arranging something special or unique.
Make an effort to differentiate date night from other nights by dressing up and wearing that special perfume
If you have a tendency to revert back to conversations about the kids or work try to have some interesting or funny conversation starters ready to go
What are your goals for Cupla and where do you see it going?
Our goal is for Cupla to facilitate 100m dates over the next five years globally. To achieve this, we aim to remove every friction point out of the date night process, including finding the time, surfacing recommendations from Cupla or friends, booking the restaurant, buying the movie or event tickets to finding a babysitter.