The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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Match Group Fully Acquires Hinge
TECH CRUNCH - Feb 7 - Last year, Match Group acquired a 51% stake in Hinge. The company has now confirmed that it fully bought out Hinge in the past quarter, and today owns 100%. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Match believes Hinge can offer an alternative to those who aren't interested in using casual apps, like Tinder. As Match explained in November, it plans to double-down on marketing that focuses on Tinder's more casual nature and use by young singles, while positioning Hinge as the alternative for those looking for serious relationships. The company said it would also increase its investment in Hinge going forward, in order to grow its user base. "Hinge downloads are now 2.5 times more than the next largest app, and 40% of Bumble downloads," said Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg.
Vimeo and Match Facing BT Patent Infringement Claims
WIPR - Feb 6 - Video streaming website Vimeo and Match Group will face a patent infringement suit after a US district court partially rejected claims brought by British Telecommunications (BT). The US District Court for the District of Delaware ruled on Monday, Feb 4, that two of BT's infringement claims would proceed to trial. The British telecoms company accused Vimeo and Match Group, both subsidiaries of IAC, of infringing six of its patents. The IAC subsidiaries filed separate motions to dismiss BT's claims, citing insufficient evidence of infringement. The district court found that BT had made "plausible" arguments for infringement of the '105 and '200 patents.
Match Group Q4 Results - Revenue up 21%
MATCH GROUP - Feb 7 - Total Revenue grew 21% YOY to $457M, driven by 17% Average Subscriber growth and 4% ARPU growth. Tinder added 233K new subscribers, bringing its total subscriber count to 4.3M. Combined with Match's other apps, overall subscribers totalled 8.2M. Operating income was $151M, an increase of 18% YOY, and Adjusted EBITDA increased 15% YOY to $176 million.
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Looking for LOVe? Spark Networks Offers Serious Upside
SEEKING ALPHA - Feb 6 - Spark Networks SE was formed in 2017 through a 75:25 merger between Affinitas GmbH and Spark Networks, Inc. Its shares are severely mispriced because investors remain scarred by Old Spark's dismal performance. Old Spark struggled for years with falling subscribers and revenues and was heavily loss-making. YOY its revenues fell 22% in 2015 and 27% in 2016. Unlike Old Spark, Affinitas has a long history of organic and acquisitive growth. Spark Networks SE is forecast to achieve 2018E revenue of EUR108M and adjusted EBITDA of EUR10.4M. Base case valuation indicates over 100% upside vs. 30% downside presenting a compelling asymmetric investment opportunity. A bull case would offer large profit potential.
Samsung Is Trying to Turn Refrigerators Into Tinder
CNET - Feb 5 - Samsung is launching a dating app called Refrigerdating. The free app works with the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator, a $4K appliance with a touchscreen on the door and an ingredient-tracking camera that can take photos of the inside of the fridge. "We hope people can meet with the help of the contents of the fridge, because that can tell you a lot about the personality," said Elin Axelsson, PR manager at Samsung Electronics Nordic based in Sweden. Refrigerdating is available through a browser, so it will work on every phone. Developer Peter Simonsson said the team opted for swiping since it's a common format for dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. Samsung even worked with a relationship expert when creating the app. Samsung recommends users don't stage the fridge to try to attract dates.
Gay Dating App Jack'd Is Allegedly Exposing Private Photos to the Public
THE REGISTER - Feb 5 - Gay dating app Jack'd lets gay and bi men chat each other up, exchange private and public pics, and arrange to meet. The photos, public and private, can be accessed by anyone with a web browser and who knows just where to look, though, it appears. As there is no authentication, no need to sign up to the app, and no limits in place, the entire image database can therefore be downloaded and used for a blackmail. Apparently, the developers of the app were warned of the security vulnerability three months ago, and yet no fix has been made.
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Malaysian Dating App Sugarbook.com Raises Seed Capital
DEALSTREET ASIA - Feb 4 - Malaysia-based "Sugar Daddy" dating app Sugarbook.com has raised a six-digit seed round from an angel investor. The angel investor comes from an investment banking background from a Hong Kong VC firm. According to Sugarbook, the proceeds will be used to scale and develop its product and infrastructure. Founded in 2017, Sugarbook has 300K members across 60 countries including Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and the US. The company generates revenue from monthly subscriptions and packages for sugar babies and daddies.
83% of Americans Report Being Happy in Their Relationships
PR NEWSWIRE - Feb 7 - The second national report "The Happiness Index: Love and Relationships in America," commissioned by eharmony and conducted by Harris Interactive, shows that 83% of Americans are "happy" in their romantic relationships. Only one in nine people in a relationship are extremely or fairly unhappy. Men value happiness, physical attractiveness and health in a partner, while women find emotional and financial stability to be the most desirable. The happiest couples tend to be in love, have a healthy sex life, an equal balance of power. They're also most likely to be younger (25-44), have two kids, and are more likely to have a higher personal income of $75K+ (more than $150K combined in a relationship), and are more educated than their unhappy counterparts.
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