By Daniel Rivera
Commerce and the workforce has changed dramatically in the past decade. Brick-and-mortar establishments continue their march to extinction and we can order a seven-course meal — complete with wait staff — at the touch of a virtual button.
Want a good shave? Choose from Harry’s or Dollar Shave Club. Need new lingerie? Order from Victoria’s Secret or Adore Me while on your tablet device. Every business – including those that offer dating services – offers apps. Looking for love in a bar or at the gym? Definitely outmoded!
MiCrush, which falls under the Crush Mobile umbrella (JCrush, Urban Crush, Voof and 2nd Crush), targets a burgeoning market—the global Latino population. MiCrush meets the needs of Latinos who not only speak either English or Spanish, but Portuguese, as well.
“We are very quickly approaching 200,000 users worldwide,” says Javier Soto Muñoz CBO (Chief Brand Officer) of MiCrush. “In a couple of months and in a couple of years we see it being the most trusted and popular dating app for Latinos around the world.”
Muñoz – no stranger to the startup app universe – previously worked with such entities as the now defunct GetGlue (later known as TVTag) and Waywire. He wears multiple hats for MiCrush, operating in a 24/7 capacity with the company. On top of reporting to CEO Sonya Kreizman (co-founder of Jspace.com) he holds the responsible for the brand’s image, experience and promise, performing such mundane tasks as checking the app for users, bugs crashes, crushes, user features and interactions. He even tackled the unenviable challenge of translating – or as he puts it “transcreating” – to adapt the app for users of every Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking nation on the planet.
In the midst of what many would see as a form of organized confusion he maintains an active social life. Prior to working for MiCrush, Muñoz used the services of rival dating app Tinder where he eventually met his current girlfriend of one year. “She understands what I do. (She knows) it’s a job that involves all of me,” he stated.
Muñoz moved stateside from his native Puerto Rico in 2009 under the auspices of a government program that sends college students to Washington, DC, to work in the political sector. He worked for current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D- CA) while she served as Speaker of the House. The entrepreneurial spirit did not fit into his plans at the onset.
“After I finished that [program] I was given the opportunity to stay in DC. But I went back and finished my degree. I was basically preparing myself for a life of government. In some capacity I was going to work in government either in Puerto Rico or DC,” Muñoz, the son of a Puerto Rican Superior Court judge, shared candidly.
After a crazy twist of fate — coupled with the loss of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives during the 2010 midterm elections — he found himself in Orlando working for Universal Studios, in stark contrast with staying in Puerto Rico to pursue a law degree and head into the family business of politics. “I wanted to run for some [form of] elected office. It would have been feasible for me to end up running for something. My mother wanted me to [go into politics]. I didn’t want to become a clone of my dad and study law,” divulged Muñoz with a grin.
In addition to rising number of installs (users) the app boasts over 13 million swipes, 450,000 messages sent, 45,000 matches worldwide, a user rate of 51%, and a retention rate of 66%. Given his background in politics, you get a sense of Munoz’s aspirations, which relate to predicting human behavior for the benefit of the many, not just the few.