Esther Khong is one of the co-founders of Date Out, a website (also an app) that makes it easier for couples to find fun experiences to do together in Singapore. The platform also offers discounts on the experiences that are advertised.
Esther, why did you decide to start Date Out?
I decided to start Date Out when I realised that there was a huge gap for this in the market and nobody was doing anything about it. Based on my own experience, I used to always Google ‘romantic places to go in Singapore’, ‘ fun things to do in Singapore’, ‘off the beaten track activities to do in Singapore’, amongst others.
I realised I was spending so much time searching for what to do rather than spending time with the person I love doing these things. I thought to myself – if only there was a place where I could book all these unique activities to go out with friends, family, or my partner, how good would that be?
I look around the world, and we are so stressed, spending most of our time working, and the last thing I need to do is stress about where to go, or be at a loss on fun things to do when I want to unwind.
Relationships should be fun and not stressful, but I found myself stressing for things to do , finding unique activities, and this sparked off 3 years of research where I went around asking other couples, friends, and even random people if they felt the same way too.
After my research, I was convinced there was so much that could be done for couples, for people looking to date, for people looking for places to enjoy with friends, and Date Out was born. Time should be spent with people we love, stress free. It shouldn’t be spent searching for things to do on the internet, wasting all our time which we can never get back.
What kind of experiences do you offer on the app/website?
We offer experiences across different categories and spectrums in both the app and the website. Currently, we have 7 categories, spanning from workshops, to sports & adventure, wellness, tour Singapore, amongst others.
What we hope to provide are unique experiences that people might not know of, off the beaten track experiences, and experiences that will create fun, laughter, excitement, when done.
We understand that there are all kinds of people in the world, and what someone might like, someone else might not. Hence we are careful in selecting a wide variety of experiences across various categories to ensure there is always something for someone.
We update our experiences every week and put on new activities! On top of that, we usually negotiate a better package/ deal for people who use our app to book the activities or gifts.
Does Date Out only find romantic experiences, or do you have activities that people can do as friends as well?
We hope to change the perception of what dating is. We can always date our friends, date our family, so yes, there are tons of activities that people can do with friends and family. We do not only have romantic experiences, but a wide variety of activities.
Does your platform have gifts as well as activities?
Yes, our platform carries gifts and activities. However, all our gifts are personalised as we believe that makes the item so much more special. For example, you can buy a mug off the shelf, or you can put in the effort to write something personal on that mug. That in itself changes the whole experience in receiving the gift, and it shows a lot more thought into the present.
Do you offer tourist activities as well as experiences for Singapore locals?
Yes we do. We believe that Singapore has so much to offer for both tourist and locals. We want both parties to see the vibrancy that Singapore has!
Hence for tourists visiting Singapore, we have this category: Tour Singapore. However, we believe that tourist can enjoy all our other categories to really have a taste of what Singapore has to offer! There is so much more that they would otherwise not know.
As for Singapore locals, who says they can’t be tourists in the country? Hence we believe this category applies to them too. However, as with all the other categories, we believe the way we choose our vendors differentiates Date Out as we inject diversity and activities which many Singaporeans might never know exist right under their nose.
Have you tried all of the activities you offer?
I personally have not tried all the activities we offer. However, combined with my team and myself, I am proud to say we have tried at least 90% of the activities which we offer on our app.
Do you offer experiences in places other than Singapore?
Currently we only have this in Singapore. However, we are definitely looking to expand outside Singapore, so look out for our space and stay tuned to our other offerings!