The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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:~ TOP ONLINE PERSONALS WATCH NEWS ~:
Matrimony Q1 2019 Financial Results
PRESS RELEASE - Aug 8 - Matrimony.com, the leading online matrimony company in India, announced its financial results for the Q1 ended June 30, 2019. Revenue grew 7% YOY to Rs 95.5 crore ($13.4M), profit after tax was Rs 9.3 crore ($1.3M) in Q1 2019, down ~39.9% YOY. Matrimony has ~4M active profiles and added 1.2M profiles and ~177K paid subscribers in the Q1 quarter.
Match Group Launches A Marriage App Pairs Engage
BUSINESS INSIDER - Aug 9 - Match Group is targeting Japanese singles looking to get hitched with a marriage-concierge app. The company is launching Pairs Engage, a "more efficient and less expensive service geared to those who are highly motivated and want to get married within a year," CEO Mandy Ginsberg said. The app suggests 30 potential husbands or wives a month, and includes a 24/7 concierge service. Japan's $0.5B arranged-marriage industry revolves around physical stores that employ lots of salespeople and service staff, meaning they're expensive to run and pricey for consumers, Ginsberg said. Pairs Engage costs 9,800 yen ($92) per month, plus another 9,800 yen as a sign-up fee once the pre-registration period ends. After downloading the app, users must submit a raft of documents including proof of their identity, income, and single status, as well as education and national qualifications for graduates and some professionals.
Top Equity Hedge Fund Cashes in on Online Dating
BLOOMBERG - Aug 18 - Helsinki-based HCP Focus, which has a slim portfolio of only 12 "high-conviction" stocks, has 16% of its funds invested in Match Group. HCP Focus manages ~70M euros and was the top long-only equity fund over the three years through the first quarter, according to BarclayHedge. It returned an average 22% a year in the past five years through July. Match is its biggest holding, followed by Amazon.com, which has been one of the main holdings since the start of the fund.
Match Group Is IAC's Best Asset
BARRON'S - Aug 16 - Match is among IAC's greatest hits. The stock has nearly doubled this year alone, thanks largely to Tinder. IAC sold a portion of Match in a 2015 IPO at $12. The stock is now $85, and IAC's Match stake is worth close to $19B. It accounts for ~90% of IAC's current $21B market value. But Match is obscuring IAC's overall value. "Match has gotten so big and successful and is such a significant part of IAC, that one became a proxy for the other," IAC CEO Joey Levin says. So IAC is considering distributing Match shares to its shareholders in a tax-free transaction. And IAC is thinking about a similar handoff of its 84% stake in ANGI Homeservices. IAC's stakes in Match and ANGI are now worth more than IAC itself, so distributing those shares should unlock value. Without Match and ANGI, IAC would effectively be an incubator again, with a handful of promising businesses already generating considerable revenue. The best known is Vimeo which generated Q2 revenue of $45.7M, up 16% YOY.
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New Proposed Utah Law to Require Dating Apps to Notify Users About Catfishers
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE - Aug 15 - Match Group is advocating for a new law in Utah requiring dating apps that ban a user for catfishing to notify anyone with whom the fake account holder has interacted with through the app. Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, is exploring how a bill could be crafted and a discussion of the issue is scheduled for the Legislature's law enforcement interim committee next week. A notification law similar to the one that Match wants recently took effect in Vermont.
Google Play App Store Accused of Anti-gay Bias
BBC - Aug 16 - Gay dating app Hornet has accused Google of discrimination after its app was removed from Google's Play store several times without warning. Hornet said Google often employed moderators in Malaysia, where same-sex relationships are illegal, to vet apps. In January, gay dating app Scruff introduced stricter profile image guidelines, banning photos of men in underwear or swimwear. The app had also been suspended from Google Play several times prior to the change.
Grindr User Takes Stalking Case Against App to High Court
LAW360.COM - Aug 15 - Matthew Herrick, who claims Grindr was negligent in failing to stop his ex-boyfriend from using the dating app to stalk and harass him, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Second Circuit ruling dismissing his lawsuit, claiming Grindr should not be protected as a publisher under the Communications Decency Act. He has filed a petition seeking to revive the case, in which he accuses the app of failing to prevent the harassment despite nearly 50 reports with the company.
Gay Dating App Chappy Joins Bumble in Austin
KVUE - Aug 10 - Chappy, an app for gay dating and friendship, moved operations to Austin. The relocation will allow Chappy to tap into the marketing and operational resources of Bumble, allowing quicker growth.
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