The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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Is Bumble's $1.1B Valuation for Real?
PROFIT CONFIDENTIAL - Nov 29 - The Bumble IPO is set to land sometime before 2019 and will be one of the first pure-play dating apps to enter the market. While no firm date has been set, the company has stated that it is seeking to have the IPO sometime next month. It could, of course, be delayed. The valuation is one delay factor. The company is currently seeking a $1.5B IPO. Some analysts, however, have placed the company as low as $1.1B. The valuation is subject to change, however, as the company is exploring new ways to monetize, namely through advertising. Bumble has jumped to 40M users in 4 years, up from 12.5M in February of 2017. "We are at our annual run rate of $200M for 2018, and we're only in year three. We've been a profitable business since year two," Bumble co-founder Whitney Herd said.
InfoEdge India Q2 FY18-19 Results
MONEY CONTROL - Nov 27 - Revenue in Q2 was Rs. 265 crores ($37M), up 18% YOY. Operating expenses were at Rs. 182.5 crores ($25.8M), up 24% YOY. The increase was largely due to marketing expenses and higher product development costs. Operating EBITDA stood at Rs. 82.5 crores ($11.6M) versus Rs. 88.8 crores ($12.6M) last year, a decrease of 7% YOY. The recruitment business and the real-estate business continue to drive growth this quarter. The company kept innovating and expect to gain share in the long run in Jeevansathi matrimony business. Marketing spends in Jeevansathi led to an increase in registrations and paid transactions. Jeevansathi billings grew by 4.2% YOY in Q2 to Rs. 17.9 crores ($2.5M). Revenue grew 3.7% year-on-year to Rs.18.4 crores ($2.6M). Operating EBITDA losses in Jeevansathi stood at Rs. 7.2 crores ($1M) in Q2 FY19 vs. a loss of Rs. 3.6 crores ($509K) in Q2 FY18. ~90% of users access Jeevansathi from the mobile platform.
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BharatMatrimony Appoints New CFO
TECH CIRCLE - Nov 27 - Matrimony.com, the parent company of Indian matchmaking platform BharatMatrimony, has appointed former Mindtree executive Sushanth Pai as its new CFO. He will replace K Balasubramanian, who is retiring. Matrimony.com was founded in 1997 by Murugavel Janakiraman. Its brands include BharatMatrimony, CommunityMatrimony and EliteMatrimony. The company acquired SecondShaadi in March to consolidate its offering for those looking to marry again. For the Q3, Matrimony reported a 12% increase in revenue to Rs 86.23 crore ($12M).
The New Breed of Elite Dating Apps Designed for Wealthy Singletons
FINANCIAL TIMES - Nov 26 - Elite platforms are unashamedly catering to professionals, the wealthy, the highly educated and celebrities. The most controversial is Luxy, which described itself when it launched in 2014 as "Tinder, minus the poor people". Luxy declined to provide figures on its profits or revenues, but says it has been profitable since its first year of operation and now has ~2M users. New members must first pass a 24-hour approval process. Only 10-15% are accepted and the company claims that half of its active members earn ~$500K. The Inner Circle, which describes itself as an "exclusive community" was launched in 2012 in the Netherlands. It organises social gatherings for its members, such as polo tournaments, gallery openings or cabaret nights. Members are vetted according to profession, age and the quality of the pictures they submit. The company also declines to share the revenue figures, but says it is profitable, employs ~20 staff and has 1.3M approved members globally. The League, launched in the US in 2015, caters to professionals who are screened based on what industry they work in, their university education and how many LinkedIn connections they have. Toffee, a dating app exclusively aimed at the privately educated, launched in the UK this year. Lydia Davis, co-founder of the app, estimates Toffee will make $10M in revenues in 2019 if the app is as successful overseas as it has been initially in the UK.
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First Week of Facebook Dating
VICE CANADA - Nov 29 - Vice freelance writer Ebony-Renee Baker tested Facebook Dating. After about a week of using it, she grew frustrated with the feature's algorithm. On Facebook Dating users can tap "interested" or "pass" on the profiles that are suggested for them. The app forces users to start a conversation immediately once they "tap" interested. Pretty much immediately after she started using it, she begin getting unsolicited messages on the "interested" page. One day she received 30 messages from guys who she hasn't shown interest in. At this point she is feeling less inclined to go back on the app.
Bumble and Moxy Hotels Launch 'BumbleSpot #attheMoxy'
OUR COMMUNITY NOW - Nov 28 - Bumble is partnering with Moxy Hotels, Marriott International's experimental brand, to host fun and interactive spaces where users can meet their online matches in real life. BumbleSpots are places that have been verified by Bumble as inclusive environments for users to meet, whether it be dating, friendships, or professional networking. Moxy Hotels is Bumble's first nationwide partner to be designated as a BumbleSpot, and more BumbleSpot locations are set to launch across the US and Canada over the next year.
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Taiwan Rejects Same-sex Marriage in Referendums
BBC - Nov 27 - Voters in Taiwan have rejected legalising same-sex marriages in a series of referendums on Saturday. Conservative groups asked whether the current legislation - defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman in Taiwan's Civil Code - should remain unchanged, while LGBT activists asked for to be amended to include same-sex couples. Voters backed the conservative "pro-family" groups. The government said that Saturday's referendums would not affect it bringing in the changes required by the court ruling. The authorities are now expected to pass a special law, without amending the Civil Code. But campaigners fear the eventual legislation will be weaker. One possible outcome could be that gay couples are given legal protection - but not allowed to get married.
Tinder Is not Blocked in Philippines by Government
PHILSTAR - Nov 26 - Telecommunications giant PLDT denied reports that their customers couldn't access Tinder as the government has ordered the dating app's blocking due to the Anti-Cybercrime Law. Reports on the app's blocking surfaced after online user EJ Serrano tweeted a screenshot of his conversation with a customer service representative of PLDT. He asked the telecommunications firm why he could not access the dating app when using wi-fi at home. A PLDT representative replied that it was due to the Anti-Cybercrime Law that the app is blocked. Ramon Isberto, head of public affairs and corporate communications of PLDT and Smart, said that here is no government order to block access to the app. Serrano later updated his tweet saying PLDT called him and clarified that the government did not block the app. He said the app is blocked by PLDT.
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