The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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Grindr To Go Public
BBC - Aug 29 - Gay dating app Grindr is going to list its shares on international stock exchanges, under a plan submitted by its Chinese parent company Kunlun Group. Kunlun Group's board said that going public would "strengthen" Grindr's competitiveness and help the business continue to develop. The Chinese tech firm originally bought a 61.5% stake in 2016 from the company's US founders. It then took full control in January.
Four Tinder Plaintiffs Drop Out Of Lawsuit
THE VERGE - Aug 31 - Rosette Pambakian, Joshua Metz, Jonathan Badeen, and James Kim are voluntarily withdrawing from their Match Group / IAC lawsuit today, claiming the company covertly tried to enact an arbitration agreement during their employment. All four plaintiffs worked at Tinder, which Match Group owns, up until they filed the lawsuit. At that point, Match / IAC placed them on administrative leave. They all seemingly signed the arbitration agreement. An arbitration agreement is a contract clause that prevents employees from taking legal concerns to court. Instead, they have to settle them privately with their employer. It's unclear why these plaintiffs would voluntarily sign an arbitration agreement, especially if they had been planning a lawsuit. Most likely, the plaintiffs didn't read their new contract closely or even realize what it said.
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Spark Networks Reports First Half 2018 Results
PR NEWSWIRE - Aug 30 - For the six months ended June 30, 2018, total revenue was €53M, an increase of ~26% YOY. The growth was attributable to the 34% increase in the number of average paying subscribers. Spark contributed 91.3% of the YOY revenue increase through the addition of Jdate, JSwipe and Christian Mingle following the close of the Affinitas / Spark Merger in Nov 2017. "Our growth strategy remains focused on EliteSingles, Jdate, JSwipe and Christian Mingle, and the recently launched SilverSingles brand," said Jeronimo Folgueira, CEO of Spark Networks SE. Net Loss was €(1.1)M, a €557K reduction compared to the H1 2017.
RealBlackLove Dating App Opens Equity Funding Round
NC BUSINESS NEWS WIRE - Aug 30 - RealBlackLove raised $15,400 by selling stock in a private equity offering. The Charlotte-based company raised the money from 33 investors. RealBlackLove seeks an additional $184,600 to meet its goal of $200K. RealBlackLove was launched in 2013 as a platform for relationship-focused black singles to connect.
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Sean Rad Claims He Was Forced To Sell His Match & IAC Stock Over Threat Of Being Fired
THE VERGE - Aug 27 - Tinder co-founder Sean Rad, along with nine other plaintiffs, sued IAC / Match Group earlier this month over alleged devaluation. The case centers on stock options and how much the original team deserved to be compensated for their work on Tinder. A source close to Tinder suggested that although Rad claims Tinder was undervalued in July 2017 at $3B, he still exercised his options and ended up receiving ~$94M and ~816K from IAC stock. This source took these actions as evidence that Rad didn't believe in Tinder's future success. Rad says he was forced to exercise his options in August 2017, before he was fired from Tinder in September. He had to exercise them, he says, because they would expire after his dismissal from the company.
Delving Into The Surreal World Of Japanese Dating Apps
METROPOLIS JAPAN - Aug 27 - While Tinder is still one of the most used dating apps in Japan (ranking 3rd in popularity), it doesn't address different cultural dating nuances. As an effect, it's generally used casually and without care. Dating in Japan is full of intricacies and unspoken rules that are difficult for a foreigner to wrap their head around. One of Japan's highest ranking apps, Pairs, reflects Japanese dating customs. Developed by Japanese startup Eureka, the app aims to slow the process down, contrary to Western apps. They encourage users to take their time and make informed decisions about potential dates. When creating a profile on Pairs, users are expected to answer a bombardment of what may seem like invasive questions, but are considered key factors in matchmaking in Japan - including their blood type or income.
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Andrey Andreev Is A Real Life Cupid With Five Dating Apps To His Name
CELEBRITY NET WORTH - Aug 27 - Russian entrepreneur Andrey Andreev is the king of dating apps. He's the man behind five successful online dating apps - Badoo, Chappy, Huggle, Mamba and Bumble. He was born Andrey Ogandzhantyants in Moscow but changed his name to his mother's maiden name because it was easier to spell. He's always been passionate about technology. He briefly attended the University of Moscow but dropped out at age 18 to move to Spain. In 1995, he founded Virus, an e-commerce site that sold computers and accessories to internet users in Russia. In 1997, he sold it for a few hundred thousand dollars. In 1999, he founded SpyLog, which was software that tracked visitors to websites. It was basically Google Analytics before that lunched in 2005. Andreev left SpyLog in December 2001. In 2002, he built Begun, a contextual ads company. Google almost bought Begun in 2008 for $140M but the deal never went through. Begun still exists, but Andreev left in early 2004. Andreev founded Badoo in Spain in 2006 and launched it in 2009. The company's headquarters are in London and there is a Moscow office. Badoo employs 300 people. Andreev will not disclose Badoo's revenue but said that Match Group is a good comparison for Badoo.
Paktor's GaiGai Dating Service To Launch A Reality Dating Show
MARKETING INTERACTIVE - Aug 28 - Paktor's GaiGai has partnered with Mediacorp's Channel 5 to launch a brand new 12-episode series is set to premiere on 27 August 2018, titled Hungry for Love. The reality dating show will see three bachelors and three bachelorettes find their compatible match. Paktor is the largest dating agency in Singapore.
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