The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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Paktor's Parent Company Raises $25M
BUSINESS TIMES - Dec 6 - M17 Entertainment, the parent company of dating and networking app Paktor, has raised $25M. The cash will go towards technical upgrades and new features for M17's live content-streaming platform, said the company. It also plans to invest in recruiting, training and promoting its content producers or "streamers", and in expanding its content and services. Terry Tsang, CEO of Hong Kong game developer Madhead, led M17 Entertainment's funding this time round. Other investors included Stonebridge Ventures and existing shareholders. M17 Entertainment was formed from the 2017 merger of Singapore mobile dating app Paktor and live-streaming platform 17 Media, founded by veteran Taiwanese rapper Jeffrey Huang Li-Tchen. Paktor co-founder Joseph Phua Jiexian became the group CEO of M17. It had planned an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in June 2018, but trading was delayed and then shelved. M17 later said that it instead turn to private fundraising for $35M.
Momo Q3 Financial Results
MOMO - Dec 6 - Q3 revenues increased 51% YOY to $536M. Net income increased to $85.2M from $79.1M in the same period last year. Monthly Active Users on Momo app were 110.5M in September 2018, compared to 94.4M in September 2017. Live video service revenues were $406.9M in Q3 2018, an increase of 34% from $302.6M in Q3 2017.Total paying users of live video service and value-added service, without double counting the overlap, including 3.6M paying users of Tantan, were 12.5M, compared to 7.3M for the third quarter of 2017.
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Coaching Service Relationship Hero Raised $2M
BUSINESS INSIDER - Dec 3 - Relationship Hero is an on-demand coaching service that provides customers with dating and relationship advice. Users can call, text, or chat one of the company's 70-full time coaches at any time of day. The company raised a $2M seed round led by Foundation Capital, Village Global, and Shrug Capital.
Personal Data from 30M Momo Users Reportedly Exposed
TECHNODE - Dec 3 - Personal data from 30M users of China's top dating app Momo is reportedly being sold for as little as RMB 200 (~$30). A Weibo user posted a series of screenshots from the Chinese dark web entitled "database of 30M Momo users" with a comment saying: "Momo's database is quite cheap." According to the screenshots, data on offer includes phone numbers and passwords. The data are from 2015.
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Bumble's Debut in India
ECONOMIC TIMES - Dec 6 - India is the first country in Asia to get Bumble, which was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd. "It was Priyanka Chopra's idea to get Bumble to India," said Herd. US is the largest market for Bumble, but its high-growth markets include Australia, Canada, UK, Germany and Netherlands. For the Indian market, language and cultural localisation has been done. Available in Hindi and 'Hinglish' on iOS and Android, Bumble has incorporated a religion filter, apart from letting users mention astrological signs, whether the person drinks or smokes, has pets or not, and the option for women to only mention the initial of their first names. Bumble started in India in October 2018, and it's doing well so far. The actress will be the brand's face in the country, but her "celebrity status is only the icing," Herd said. "What's special about Priyanka is that she is not just the face of the brand here, but also very invested in this. She cares about it."
Matrimony.com Launches Dubai Office
TRADE ARABIA - Dec 7 - Matrimony.com, a leader in online matrimony, has entered the UAE market through its flagship brand BharatMatrimony as part of its strategic expansion plans. The platform has inaugurated an office at Fortune Executive Tower, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai, to serve Indians in the Middle East region. Matrimony.com, a publicly-listed company, is headquartered in Chennai, India.
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Grindr, the First Big Dating App For Gays, Is Falling Out of Favor
WASHINGTON POST - Dec 7 - 2018 should have been a record year for Grindr, the leading gay dating app, which touts ~27M users. Instead, the app has received backlash for one blunder after another. Early this year, the Kunlun Group's buyout of Grindr raised alarm among intelligence experts that the Chinese government might be able to gain access to the Grindr profiles of American users. Then in the spring, Grindr faced scrutiny after reports indicated the app had a security issue that could expose users' precise locations and that the company had shared sensitive data on its users' HIV status with external software vendors. Last week, news broke that Scott Chen, the app's straight-identified president, may not fully support marriage equality. In the past several years, Grindr users have widely reported that spambots and spoofed accounts run rampant. Earlier this year, a massive study by the Center for Humane Technology found that Grindr is the No. 1 app that leaves users feeling unhappy. Among its major competitors, Grindr has the lowest score on the Apple App store: a lowly two stars.
Match Group Down 10.1% Since Last Earnings Report
NASDAQ - Dec 7 - It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Match Group. Shares have lost ~10.1% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500. Match Group's Q3 revenues of $443.9M surged 49.2% YOY and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $437M. The YOY growth was primarily driven by 23% increase in average subscriber base and 6% rise in ARPU. North America subscriber base increased 18%, while International jumped 29%. Tinder average subscribers increased 61% YOY and came in at 4.1M. Match, Meetic, PlentyOfFish and OkCupid also registered growth. Match Group anticipates Q4 2018 revenues between $440M and $450M. Tinder remains the key catalyst. Unfavorable foreign exchange and negative impact of GDPR is expected to hurt top-line growth. Currently, Match Group has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.
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