The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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Badoo Acquires Dating App Huggle And All-female Team
BUSINESS CLOUD - Mar 16 - Dating app Badoo has acquired dating app Huggle along with its internal marketing team. Huggle is a dating and friendship app which matches users based on the places they have in common. It was launched in 2016 by co-founders Valerie Stark and Stina Sanders. The brand has since attracted 500k users, including celebrities such as Katie Price and Bella Thorne.
PeerStream Reports 2017 Results
GLOBE NEWSWIRE - Mar 22 - PeerStream's (Snap Interactive) total revenues increased to $24.8M, representing 18.4% YOY growth, driven primarily by the completion of the AVM Merger. Subscription revenues also increased to $22.9M, up 22.8% YOY driven by the completion of the AVM Merger. Net loss from operations was $5.7M which included $815K of one-time expenses primarily related to a terminated merger with LiveXLive Media, and a one-time lease cancellation fee. Adjusted EBITDA was $(1.9)M. In 2017, they company launched a strategy to integrate blockchain into its technology, formed partnerships and advisory relationships to expand technology capabilities, and evaluate strategic M&A, equity and token investments supporting its blockchain strategy. PeerStream announced the development of Backchannel, a secure video messaging app; founded an Innovation Lab to support growth initiatives in the live video markets; completed the launch of Camfrog Live, a new live video streaming entertainment service; andcompleted AVM Merger.
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Ethereum-Based Dating App Hicky Raises $2M, ICO To End On March 26
THE MERKLE - Mar 21 - Hicky, a Tinder-like mobile app launched on top of the Ethereum blockchain, has been conducting an ICO to distribute its token HKY, which is compatible with the Ethereum network's native cryptocurrency Ether. ~ 24.1M HKYs have been raised, surpassing its soft cap. Given that 1 Ether = 7,500 HKYs, the blockchain project has already secured ~$2M in funding. Hicky is advised by former executives of Tinder. Hermione Way, the former Head of European Communications for Tinder, has officially joined the Hicky team to oversee its growth and branding in the long-term. Hicky is similar to Tinder, wherein sensitive personal and financial information of users on the app are not shared or monetized. The ICO is still ongoing, and it is expected to end on March 26.
Spark Neworks SE To Terminate Loan Agreement Relating To Affinitas And Plans To Enter Into New Debt Financing
SPARK.NET - Mar 15 - Spark Networks Services (f/k/a Affinitas), wholly-owned subsidiary of Spark Networks SE, entered into a termination agreement to its Loan Agreement. The loan agreement was dated Sep 2016 and was made between Affinitas and certain persons and entities with an interest rate of 8% (Loan type A) and 9% per annum (Loan Type B) in an amount of €5.85M (€1.85M of which is under the Type A Loans and €4M of which is under the Type B Loans). The parties agreed to an early termination fee of €0.3M. In addition, the parties agreed that interest on the loans of ~€40K will be paid in full for the month of March 2018. In connection with the termination of the Loan Agreement, the Company executed a non-binding term sheet with a third-party lender for a new €25M credit facility consisting of a €15M term loan and €10M revolver.
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Match Group Also Sues Chinese Dating App Tantan
LAW360 - Mar 20 - Match Group has filed another intellectual property lawsuit. This time against Tantan, a dating service billed as "China's Tinder". Match Group is accusing Tantan of infringing its design patents and trademarks by copying Tinder's swiping system including "nearly identical" match screen. Tantan was acquired by Chinese social media app Momo for $760M last month.
It's Just Lunch Sued For Setting Up Bad Dates
SE TEXAS RECORD - Mar 21 - Robert Rice is suing It's Just Lunch after several bad dates, claiming one woman showed him naked pictures of herself. Seeking punitive damages, Rice filed suit against It's Just Lunch on March 20, alleging the dating service is nothing but a scheme to defraud tens of thousands of single professionals throughout the country.
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Bumble Bizz Launches In Australia
AD NEWS - Mar 21 - BumbleBizz is an extension within the main Bumble app, using the same Tinder-esque interface to allow people to swipe left or right on possible networking matches. To support the launch of Bumble Bizz, Bumble has launched its first Australian ad campaign, starring Pacific Magazines GM Jackie Frank, Mon Purse CEO Lana Hopkins and Instagram influencers and business owners Elle Ferguson, Nadia Bartel, Alex Lee and Laura Henshaw.
Match Group Is Defending Itself In A Patent Lawsuit Filed In January By PersonalWeb Technologies
RPX INSIGHT - Mar 21 - PersonalWeb Technologies, a company based in Texas, is suing Match Group for patent infringement. PersonalWeb Technologies owns several patents that are fundamental to cloud computing, distributed search engine file systems and content addressable storage and social networks. The company filed the complaint on January 24th, 2018, and claims Match Group has infringed 5 of its patents. More info here.
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