In 2014, 25-year-old Kalyani Khona decided to start a matchmaking forum for the differently abled, one she says was “born out of the belief that everyone deserves to find love”. Her research led her to matrimonial agencies, local marriage brokers and other dating services, all of which only served to confirm that there were no dedicated dating interfaces for the differently abled. In July that year, she first launched the offline matchmaking service, Wanted Umbrella. After a successful round of crowdfunding and feedback from the community, Khona and her friend, co-founder Shankar Srinivasan, 26, launched Inclov (available in English, Hindi and Punjabi; on Android and iOS) in January 2016.
In order to be more inclusive, they also launched Inclov Lite, a different version of the app, tailored for the visually impaired, which features a screen reader and talk-back capability.
Inclov also has an offline presence called Social Spaces, a platform that gives its members the chance to physically interact with each other. “We started at a park bench, and eventually tied up with some of India’s biggest hospitality venues across Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Bengaluru,” says Srinivasan. Each location is chosen after careful consideration: the staff is briefed on the attendees’ needs and all areas of the venue are made easily accessible, which includes building wheelchair ramps where necessary. Sign language interpreters are also present. Next up: expansion. With 40,000 users, Inclov is now looking to introduce more regional languages and expand to tier-two cities.