The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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Paktor Acquired by Singapore Advisory Firm Kollective Ventures
TECH IN ASIA - May 21 - Singapore-based advisory firm Kollective Ventures has acquired dating and networking app operator Paktor Group from Taiwan's M17 Entertainment. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Paktor Group was formed in 2013 by M17's current CEO Joseph Phua. It owns a number of dating assets, including its namesake app that has operations in Taiwan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. It also runs Goodnight, an app that enables voice conversations between strangers. Paktor was merged with livestreaming company 17 Media in April 2017 to form M17.
Matrimony.com Q4 Results: ~$900K Net Profit
ECONOMIC TIMES - May 21 - Online matchmaking service provider Matrimony has recorded consolidated net profits of Rs 6.77 crore ($895K) for the quarter ending March 31, 2020. For the full year ending March 31, 2020 net profits were Rs 29.53 crore ($3.9M, down from Rs 42.45 crore ($5.6M) in 2018-19 fiscal. The revenues for the quarter grew by 4.5% YOY to Rs 94.1 crore ($12.4M) and for the year by 6.7% to Rs 371.8 crore ($50M). The number of paying subscriber is 704K.
Tinder to Allow People to Get Rid of Their Geography Filters Completely
THE VERGE - May 21 - Tinder will soon be testing Global Mode, a new option for daters to opt in to allow their profiles to show up around the world, regardless of where they live. They'll also be able to view and match with people who live in other countries. The feature sounds similar to, but is different from, Tinder's paid option Passport, which lets people select a location and swipe in that place. With Global Mode, people's profiles will populate throughout the world and it's free. The pandemic, Tinder says, pushed the company to speed up its timeline for getting rid of geographic filters.
MyLife - Safer Dating
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Dating App Hily Launches Video Calls
ABNEWSWIRE - May 21 - According to Hily's last poll of its 1500 users, 52% of respondents would love to try virtual dating. The app is now launching a new video chat feature. Hily enables its users to call only those people with whom they have a match. Also, the users can switch off the video calls function in the settings at any time.
Jared F. Sine, Chief Legal Officer & Secretary for Match Group, Sells The Company's Stock
MARKETBEAT - May 20 - Match Group insider Jared F. Sine sold 6,230 shares of the firm's stock last week. The stock was sold at an average price of $78 for a total value of $486,438. Following the completion of the sale, he now directly owns 13,132 shares in MTCH, valued at $1,025,346. A number of equities analysts have recently commented on MTCH shares. Citigroup raised their price objective on Match Group from $90 to $100 and gave the stock a "buy" rating in a report on Friday, May 8th. Nomura Securities also gave the stock a "buy" rating. BidaskClub upgraded Match Group from a "sell" rating to a "hold". SunTrust Banks and Deutsche Bank both gave the stock a "buy" rating.
Hinge Rolls out in-app Video Calls, Launches Hinge Labs
MASHABLE - May 20 - Hinge launches Hinge Labs, the first dating app research program backed by behavioral data and not solely on surveys. The app is now also testing in-app video calls and select markets (Dallas, Denver, Miami, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C.), and will roll out the feature globally this summer. Logan Ury, Hinge's Director of Relationship Science and Dr. Emily Hittner, Hinge's Director of Research, are at the helm of Hinge Labs. Hinge Labs's first project is analyzing video dating. The team sent out a number of surveys to users during quarantine to track how people are using video dating. The data shows that perception of video chatting is different than the reality. While 58% of users cite fear of awkwardness as the top reason for not video dating, 81% of those who did felt no or "only slight" awkwardness.
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India Gay Matchmaking Service, Arranged Gay Marriage Bureau, Under Fire
NBC NEWS - May 19 - The Arranged Gay Marriage Bureau, which promises to help Indian gay men and lesbians find love, is accused by some of being a "malicious" scam. The matchmaking service was the subject of a Vice Media report last month titled "The Arranged Gay Marriage Scam." The 20-minute documentary follows two U.K.-based clients of the service - the documentary's host, Reeta Loi, and a man referred to only as Keith - who, after 11 months, each received just a handful of dating profiles. At the end of the film, Loi calls the bureau a "malicious" scam.
Muslim Matchmaking Platform Hawaya Expands Across GCC
ZAWYA - May 18 - Following its success in Egypt, Hawaya (previously Harmonica, acquired by Match Group in 2019), a Cairo-based mobile dating app that approaches matchmaking with respect for Muslim traditions and cultures, has announced the expansion across the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. Hawaya was founded in 2017 by an Egyptian entrepreneur, Sameh Saleh, who crafted the app to help his sister go through a safe journey towards marriage. The name Hawaya was inspired by the word "Hawa" which means "love" in Arabic.
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