The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
- Online Dating and Dating Industry Conference in Odessa on May 21-22, 2020
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:~ TOP ONLINE PERSONALS WATCH NEWS ~:
Live Streaming Platform M17 Raises $26.5M in Series D Round
DEALSTREET ASIA - May 11 - M17 Entertainment has landed $26.5M in a Series D funding round led by the Temasek-backed Vertex Growth Fund. The company will focus on deepening its presence in Japan and the rest of developed Asia, while planning expansion into the US and new markets such as the Middle East. M17 said it has the largest live streaming platform in developed Asia, with ~60% market share by revenue in Japan and Taiwan. M17’s estimated annual revenue is $180M. In 2018, M17 raised $25M. The company also raised a $40M Series A round in 2017. M17 was formed in April 2017 after the merger of Singapore-based Paktor Group and Taiwan-based 17 Media, a regional live streaming company. The company's main dating apps are Paktor and Goodnight. M17 had planned to list its Paktor dating and networking app on the New York Stock Exchange in a $115M IPO in 2018, but it withdrew the application after the IPO roadshow only raised $60M.
Guardian Soulmates Dating Site Shutting Down
THE ARMENIAN REPORTER - May 14 - Online dating site Guardian Soulmates is to shut this summer time after 15 years. The crew behind the site said that online dating has turn out to be "a very different place" compared to when it was first launched, with the rise of dating apps. "To keep up with the changing times we'd need to invest heavily in new technology and develop a new way of operating, and it's just not viable," they stated. Several Twitter customers expressed their unhappiness over the information of Guardian Soulmates' closure. "You had been the classiest act on the town"; "You ran your business with dignity! Unlike most dating sites. Goodbye and thank you so much!"
Private Equity Outfit KKR Has Acquired 5.2% Stake in ProSiebenSat.1
TBI - May 12 - KKR has decided to invest in the broadcaster because it believes that the market is undervaluing the company. The investment marks the second time around with ProSiebenSat.1 for KKR. KKR's move comes six weeks after former CEO Max Conze left ProSiebenSat.1, following two years in the job. The former Dyson exec saw the company's share price tumble, while execs departed amid a strategy that included investing $500M in dating app developer The Meet Group. The company has now outlined new plans to turn away from e-commerce, with an eye on selling its NuCom arm (parent of Parship, ElitePartner, eharmony) and concentrating purely on entertainment.
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Match Is Offering $500 Million in Bonds That Mature in 2028
MARKETWATCH - May 12 - Match Group is offering $500M in senior notes that mature in 2028 in a private offering. Proceeds will be used to redeem the company's 6.375% senior notes due 2024 and for general corporate purposes.
Vybe: Nigerian Online Dating Platform
TECHPOINT.AFRICA - May 13 - ~2.1M Nigerians are registered on dating platforms. In April 2019, three software engineers, Osagie Omonzokpia, Adetolani Eko, and Moronke Anifowose launched the beta phase of an online dating platform, Vybe, aimed at connecting people based on intention, location, age, tribe, and religion, among others. It offers dating and matchmaking both online and offline. Vybe hit ~1K users within the first 48 hours of launch. At its early stage, Vybe was the winner of the Busicon and Diamond Bank App Challenge after which it made it to the finals in Y Combinator's Winter 2020 interviews in California. The startup is completely self-funded; however, Eko mentions that it is currently working on raising a pre-seed round. At the moment, the major source of revenue has been paid ads on the platform; in due course, it will include premium subscription and offline events.
Matrimony.com: No Growth in a Growth Market
MONEYLIFE - May 11 - Matrimony.com Ltd offers a platform for online matchmaking and marriage services, one of the first companies to provide such services in India. It now has a database of 4.38M active profiles. Matrimony has 134 retail centres where customers can walk in and seek the assistance to register on websites or make payment for the matchmaking product. Its flagship brand, BharatMatrimony, has 15 language-based domains under its umbrella. Matchingmaking services makes up 97% of its business revenue. Matrimony also caters in the marriage service industry. The wedding services industry is worth ~$56B in India. The matchmaking and wedding industry has been growing at 20-25% every year. 10-12M marriages take place annually in India. Matrimony's 2019 revenues grew just 4% from Rs335crore ($44M) in FY2018 to Rs348crore ($46M) for FY2019. Matchmaking segment grew 9.49% YOY. Revenues for marriage services declined by 22.7% for the same period. As far as the profitability margins are concerned, Matrimony has been able to increase its operating profit margins since FY2015. Margins have improved from 3% in FY2016 to 14% for FY2019. Matrimony is currently trading at Rs341 ($4.5) which is 65% below its issue price of Rs985 ($13).
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New Dating App, Peel, Limits the Number of Conversations
NOW TORONTO - May 14 - Peel, created by two Toronto developers, limits the number of conversations users can have at one time in an effort to create "meaningful" interactions. Peel, which launched last month, is marketing itself as an antidote to apps that let users endlessly rack up matches - which, the owners say results in very few interesting conversations and even less dates.
Gleeden Crosses One Million Users in India
INDIAN EXPRESS INDULGE - May 11 - Gleeden, the extramarital dating app has crossed the milestone of one million users in India. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gleeden recorded +166% new subscriptions compared to January and February 2020.
The OPW/iDate Dating Business Insider is first and the largest weekly news summary in the dating industry. Since 2004.
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