The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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MeetMindful Raises $5.5M
BUSINESDEN - June 27 - MeetMindful, an app that pairs people who share interests in yoga, meditation, green living and other "mindful" hobbies, has raised $5.5M. Founder Amy Baglan, who launched the startup in 2015 and went through the Techstars incubator in Boulder, said the new capital will go toward MeetMindful's new app, hiring and future products. The startup has raised $8M since 2015.
Tinder Takes On Coffee Meets Bagel With Test Of Tinder Picks
TECH CRUNCH - June 22 - Tinder will begin testing a new feature aimed at helping people find more matches who fit their particular interests across areas like education, job type, hobbies and other details. "Tinder Picks," as the new feature is being called, will be available only to Tinder Gold users. Tinder uses will organize users into groupings. For example, a "foodie" might earn that tag because they work in a restaurant, went to a top culinary school, or mentions food in their bio. Users will see their daily Picks by tapping the diamond on the top of the Discovery screen. Tinder Picks refresh every 24 hours, but Tinder Gold users can opt to buy more at any time, the company says. Tinder says Picks is live now in the U.K., Germany, Brazil, France, Canada, Turkey, Mexico, Sweden, Russia and the Netherlands. It will see how users respond over the next few days, then evaluate whether to roll out the feature more broadly.
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Momo Proposed To Offer $650M Convertible Senior Notes
PR NEWSWIRE - June 26 - Momo, a leading mobile social networking platform in China, announced that it proposes to offer $650M in aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2025. The Notes will mature on July 1, 2025. The Company intends to grant the initial purchasers in the Offering a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $100M principal amount of the Notes. The Notes will be convertible into Momo's American depositary shares, at the option of the holders, in integral multiples of $1k principal amount, at any time prior to the close of business on the second business day immediately preceding the maturity date. Momo will not have the right to redeem the Notes prior to maturity, except in the event of certain changes to the tax laws or their application or interpretation. Holders of the Notes will have the right to require the Company to repurchase all or part of their Notes in cash on July 1, 2023, or in the event of certain fundamental changes. The Company plans to use the net proceeds of the Offering to repay the $300M bank loan facility it entered into in May 2018 to partially finance its acquisition of Tantan.
India Has Lots Of Single Women, But Not On Tinder
WALL STREET JOURNAL - June 25 - Tinder's biggest challenge in India appears to be getting enough women to sign on. In many parts of India, arranged marriages remain the norm, and dating in any form still carries a stigma, particularly for women. Indian women who have dabbled with dating apps complain they get overwhelmed by all the attention that comes with the surplus of men. Tinder doesn't disclose a gender breakdown, but among the app's members in India, men far outnumber women. The dating app TrulyMadly, which says women make up ~20% of its users, is trying to introduce women to the concept of "boy browsing" through a YouTube video. Another competitor, Woo, allows women on its app free but charges men, and lets women use initials rather than full names.
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Morad Adjaoud Joins Once From Tinder As CMO
NEW-BUSINESS.DE - June 22 - Slow dating app Once wants to expand its presence in Germany. The app has hired Morad Adjaoud, the former Head of International Growth of Tinder. Adjaoud joins Once as Chief Marketing Officer. Adjaoud will be responsible for worldwide marketing, but will pay special attention to the German market. Once launched in France in 2015; claims 2.1M French users and 1.5M German users.
Match Group's Latest Acquisition Might Be A Response To Facebook Dating
MARKETWATCH - June 22 - Hinge has grown popular among young adults because of its focus on "thoughtful" dating. The company brands itself as a relationship app at a time when many young daters are frustrated by the casualness of swipe-driven apps like Tinder. Hinge's product "is highly relevant particularly among urban, educated millennial women looking for relationships," said Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg. Facebook, meanwhile, has said that its forthcoming dating products will be about not just hookups, but "relationships too."
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The Story Of Raya, An Exclusive Social Network
NEW YORK TIMES - June 27 - Raya first appeared several years ago as a dating app aimed at people in creative industries. It has expanded into an invitation-only social network populated by movie stars, fashion designers, pro athletes, tech executives and too many Instagram models to count. The app costs $7.99 a month, but joining is no small ordeal. Prospective members are evaluated by an algorithm and human gatekeepers. ~8% of applicants are accepted. There are other elite dating apps, such as the League, which reportedly has 300K active users. But Raya may be the first app that has successfully created an atmosphere of intimacy and trust while revealing almost nothing about itself. Its website contains no mention of investors, founders or staff members, and the company has never spoken about its origins. Keeping up Raya's values and mystique is partly why Mr. Gendelman, a self-described introvert, has chosen to stay quiet. For years, he avoided publicly identifying himself, even hiding his job from some friends and family. He has kept the company small - Raya has just 13 full-time employees - and has raised only a few small investment rounds. But slowly, Raya is beginning to step out. The company recently acquired Chime, a video messaging app started by Jared Morgenstern, an early Facebook employee who is now Raya's COO. It introduced a real-time map feature that allows users to opt in to sharing their locations with other members. Mr. Gendelman would not share financial information but said that he expects Raya to become profitable this year.
How HER Became The Queer Woman's Answer To Grindr
BRIT.CO - June 25 - Robyn Exton, founder and CEO of the dating app HER, names the year 2012 as a turning point in her professional life. Back then, Exton worked at a marketing agency, where she spent the year assigned to a client in the online dating business. She couldn't help but notice some serious holes in the industry: where was the dating service for women, trans, and gender non-conforming folks? Exton quit her job, moved home with her father, and started to learn how to code. In less than a year, she released her first dating app, Dattch (now HER) - a blend of "date" and "catch" - dedicated solely to lesbian, bisexual, and queer folks. The first version of Dattch came out in September 2013, but Exton reveals that it just didn't work the way she had hoped. She went back to the drawing board and started over. Exton and her team spent six months testing their product with users to understand what they really wanted in an app. With 3M users to date, HER is flourishing.
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