The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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Gay Dating App Blued Raised $100M
DEALSTREET ASIA - Feb 5 - Blued secures $100m in Series D funding round. The latest round was led by CDH Investments and UG Capital Investment, marking the seventh round of financing. Launched in 2012, Blued has become one of the world's most popular free gay social apps, attracting ~15M users worldwide. Blued CEO Geng Le said the company will make further efforts to optimize and upgrade products and services.
Muslim Dating App Muzmatch Raises Ł1.5M
STANDARD.CO.UK - Jan 30 - Muzmatch, a dating app for Muslims, has raised from a clutch of investors to expand overseas and grow the team. The three-year-old company, based in Aldgate, central London, was set up by Shahzad Younas, 33, an ex-investment banker for Morgan Stanley, and Ryan Brodie, 24, a software engineer. Users can choose not to show photos on their profiles or blur them. It also has a chaperoning option, whereby the in-app chats are sent to a guardian.
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Court: Dating Services Can't Charge Older Folks More On Belief They Are Wealthier
SF GATE - Jan 29 - Tinder Plus costs $19.99 a month to customers over 30 and $9.99 or $14.99 for younger customers. The company said its research showed that younger customers had less money and were unlikely to enroll without discounts. Some age-based price differentials may be justified by social policies or economic realities, like movie discounts for children or seniors, said the Second District Court of Appeal in LA. But the court said a pricing system based entirely on a customer's age amounts to "prohibited arbitrary discrimination" under California law. The 3-0 ruling was written by Brian Currey, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge temporarily assigned to the appeals court.
Match Group Appoints Ariel Charytan New CEO Of OkCupid
PR NEWSWIRE - Jan 29 - Charytan suceeds Elie Seidman, who was recently named CEO of Tinder. He comes to Match Group from Audible, an Amazon company, where he served as SVP. Prior to Amazon, he was a co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Oyster.com, which was acquired by TripAdvisor in 2013.
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Making It Happn In India
THE HINDU - Feb 5 - Online dating has caught up in India as is evident with the plethora of apps and sites like Tinder, Truly Madly, Woo, Bumble, Moco and OkCupid. Considering the growing market, new players are entering with Happn being the latest one. Launched in Paris in 2014 and spread across 18 countries, it has 45M users. Happn reached India in 2017 and now boasts ~1M users in Delhi alone besides having a sizeable presence in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Allahabad. Didier Rappaport, the app's founder says, "Unlike others we don't provide a catalogue of people's profiles which can be swiped. We connect people as it happens in real world by using two important technologies, hyper-localisation and real time." Making the app interactive is its See You There feature. It informs that the user is up for sharing an activity, like going for a walk, catching a movie, or go for a walk or grab a bite, in the next six hours.
Google Pulled Gay Dating App Blued From Indonesia Online Store
CHANNEL NEWS ASIA - Jan 31 - Google has pulled one of the world's largest gay dating apps from the Indonesian version of its online store in response to government demands. Officials had called for the tech giant to remove 73 LGBT-related apps, including dating services, from its Play Store and urged people to shun apps that broke with cultural norms in the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation. Gay dating app Blued - which boasts ~27M users globally - no longer appeared in the Google Play Store available to Indonesian users. Apple's online store still has Blued available.
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Ditto Dating App Only Allows One Match At A Time
METRO.CO.UK - Jan 29 - With Ditto, users are mutually exclusive with one match on the app, until one of them unmatches. The makers hope the app will 'bring some sincerity to a rather shallow culture' and they reckon it's like taking the real world of dating and putting it into an app. Which assumes that people only date one person at a time in real life which is just not true. Users swipe through potential suitors until they get to one they like, swipe right and hope for the best. Once they get a match, they're both blocked from swiping other users. Once they hit unmatch, they're given the following options to choose from to send as a reason to Ted – inappropriate messages, not enough chemistry, long response times, showed little interest, or no real reason. The apps makers reckon that while offering a reason seems harsh, it's actually kinder than ghosting, as it leaves no false hope and allows both of them to move on.
Founder Of FarmersOnly.com Talks About His New Site For Curvy Singles
SCENE - Jan 31 - Jerry Miller, the founder of FarmersOnly.com, lives in Cleveland's eastern suburbs. "There are maybe a million farmers in the US, and half of them are married," said Miller. "The other half have never been on a computer," he said. FarmersOnly.com currently has ~6M users and continues to grow. (The site surpassed 200k users in 2012 and 1M in 2014.) Miller started another site - CurvesConnect.com - in 2016 "for people with a few extra curves". CurvesConnect was conceived, in part, as an antidote to the judging-books-by-covers extreme that Tinder represents. He said that Hollywood has brainwashed all of us into thinking that beauty (for women) means being leggy and anorexic, but that most people don't look anything like what Hollywood says we're supposed to. Like FarmersOnly, CurvesConnect enjoys an almost perfect 50-50 male/female split.
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