The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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:~ TOP ONLINE PERSONALS WATCH NEWS ~:
Gay Dating App Blued Plans U.S. IPO at $1 Billion Value
BLOOMBERG - Aug 30 - Blued, China's largest gay-dating app, is planning a U.S. IPO that could raise ~$200M. The share sale will likely take place next year and could value Blued at ~1 billion. Founded in 2012 by former policeman Geng Le, Blued has become an icon for the Chinese LGBT community and attracted ~$130M in venture capital as of March. The dating app also offers live streaming and connects men who want to become parents with overseas surrogates.
Momo's Q2 Financial Results
PRESS RELEASE - Aug 27 - Net revenues increased by 32% YOY to RMB4,152.6M ($605M) in the Q2'19. Net income slightly decreased to RMB731.8M ($106.6M). Monthly Active Users on Momo app were 113.5M in June 2019, compared to 108M in June 2018. Total paying users of the company's live video service and value-added service, including 3.2M paying users of Tantan, were 11.8M, up from 11.6M in Q2'18.
Spark Networks SE Reports First Half 2019 Results
PR NEWSWIRE - Aug 29 - Spark Networks, parent company of EliteSingles, eDarling, Jdate, Christian Mingle, JSwipe, SilverSingles, Attractive World, and Zoosk, reported its first half 2019 financial results. H1 2019 revenue was €49.2M, down 7.1% YOY. The YOY decrease was attributable to the 9% decrease in the number of Average Paying Subscribers. Net loss was €4.9M, an increase of €3.8M compared to €1.1M in the H1 2018. The YOY increase in net loss was primarily attributable to higher professional fees related to the merger with Zoosk that closed in the H2 2018, and an increase in income tax expense in the H1 2019.
Tinder Seeks Arbitration for Ex-Exec's Sexual Assault Claims
LAW360 - Aug 30 - Rosette Pambakian, a former Tinder marketing executive claiming the dating app and its parent company unlawfully fired her after conducting an investigation into her alleged sexual assault by Tinder's former CEO Gregory Blatt, must pursue her claims in arbitration. Rosette Pambakian, who was Tinder's head of marketing and communications, signed an agreement that requires her to resolve all employment-related issues outside of court, the dating app, parent company Match Group and Gregory Blatt told the judge Wednesday in a motion to compel arbitration.
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Match.com Offers Dating Coaches to Its Subscribers
FAST COMPANY - Aug 26 - Introduced in New York City in May, the AskMatch dating coaching service is now available in 18 states and Washington, D.C., with plans to expand to all U.S. subscribers by January 2020. The coaching - typically over the phone - is included in Match's standard subscription. "We get people who say, 'I need help flirting. I forgot how to flirt,'" says Katie Wilson, a veteran dating coach who came to Match in Dec 2018 to build its team. Wilson spent four and a half years as a manager and director at matchmaking company Three Day Rule. The L.A.-based boutique service has had a partnership with Match since 2014, aimed at users who want to get personalized matchmaking. Three Day Rule coaches will appear in tips videos for AskMatch.
Momo's New App ZAO Sparks Mass Downloads and Major Concerns
RADII - Aug 30 - Momo's new face swap app Zao is the hottest thing on the Chinese internet right now. But the app is also raising a host of privacy concerns on Chinese social media. Users take a selfie and put themselves into their favorite movie or soap opera. Zao user agreement states that the app gives Momo global rights to use any imagery created on the app for free. Once a user has opted in, there doesn't seem to be the right to revoke the agreement.
International Online Dating Scam Busted in California
CNN WIRE - Aug 26 - In March 2016, a man claiming to be a US Army captain stationed in Syria reached out to a Japanese woman on an international site for digital pen pals. Over 10 months, she sent him a total of $200K that she borrowed from friends, her ex-husband and other relatives. But he did not exist. It was all an international online scam run by two Nigerian men in the Los Angeles area with the help of associates in their home country and other nations, federal officials say. And Thursday, US prosecutors charged 80 people (mostly Nigerians) in the widespread conspiracy that defrauded at least $6M from businesses and vulnerable, elderly women. Of those, 17 people have been arrested in the US so far and federal investigators are trying to track down the rest in Nigeria and other nations.
Ashley Madison Has Signed 30 Million Cheating Spouses
FORBES - Aug 24 - More people have signed up to Ashley Madison since the 2015 hack than before. And that is extraordinary. As things stand today, Ashley Madison has amassed ~32M new users since the hack. Back in 2015, the company was active in some 50 countries, directly marketing in more than 20. Now the focus is only North America. Ashley Madison brought in Ernst and Young in 2018 to go through all the systems, inch by inch. They verified all the automated fembots were gone.
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