Match making startup, Banihal Secures Seed Funding From Dr David Cheriton, Google’s First Investor

Match making startup, Banihal which launched at UnPluggd, India’s biggest startup conference has announced its seed funding from Dr. David Cheriton, the billionaire Computer Science Prof. from Stanford University who wrote the first check for Google as well.Banihal_logo_0615

Ishdeep Sawhney, ex-Apple employee and founder of Banihal said the matchmaking market looks just like search did before Google, there are multiple players but the user’s problem is not being solved.


Banihal has developed a neuroscience based algorithm to give users 5 recommendations which are likely to lead to marriage. The company is based in California and collaborating with leading researchers in the US to develop the solution. It is targeting the Indian audience.

“The old system of finding a partner are not working and we currently do not have a new system that works well. We know it’s the most important decision and currently the system does not enable us to meet that one person we can say yes to. Banihal is focused on making that introduction where both individuals can confidently say yes.”

Banihal: How Does It Work

Banihal is available for users to signup on the web at and through an Android app. The iPhone app will be out shortly.  Users complete a profile and Banihal understands the user to create a model of their likely partner.

When we meet someone in person, the brain  uses thousands of rules to form a quick opinion which is usually correct and Banihal creates this model for each user and then matches to all other existing profiles to find the 5 most likely matches as recommendations. There are upto 20 more matches available as SmartSearch but the application does not allow users to search for profiles. The platform understands the needs of each individual user and then shows only the most likely profiles.

Banihal’s android and ios apps have voice calling and chat in the app so that users do not need to share their phone number or emails.  The application also does verification of the profiles so that users can trust the information on Banihal.

Banihal’s launch at UnPluggd was greeted with applause from the audience and we will be sharing the launch video soon as well.

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