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Dating Industry and Matchmaking Industry Forums

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:08 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:48 pm
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The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.

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NetParty - Jeff Strank ... trank.html

Kelly Steckelberg - The Woman Tasked With Saving Zoosk

FORTUNE - Mar 26 - Kelly Steckelberg took Zoosk’s top job in Dec 2014. Since then, she’s been clearing a path to profitability. Less than one year ago, Zoosk had filed for an IPO. Things quickly changed. In December, the company called it off and its two co-founders, CEO Shayan Zadeh and president Alex Mehr, stepped down. And in January, it laid off 15% of its staff. Kelly Steckelberg, the new CEO, has been at Zoosk for 4 years and held roles as its CFO and COO. When asked what sets Zoosk apart, Steckelberg was unconvincing. “I think we consider ourselves a serious dating site". Zoosk took in ~$200M in revenue in 2014 but lost money. It had been profitable in 2013 for the full year. What changed? Steckelberg says Zoosk decided to invest heavily in growth, “even at a loss situation.” The company also overstaffed. Zoosk seems to have been operating with the startup mentality that profit doesn’t matter. Zoosk will announce that it was profitable in Q1 2015 and Steckelberg hopes the company’s finances will stay that way. ... zoosk.html

Marketing Software Firm HubSpot Buys Dating App Rekindle

BOSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL - Mar 24 - Rekindle is a Boston-based mobile app that allows users to discover friends of friends and connect with them. The app launched last fall and is backed by Google Ventures and FKA Atlas, the tech-investment arm of Cambridge-based Atlas Venture. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Rekindle will be shut down and HubSpot will be leveraging the mobile app's back-end technology. HubSpot is a Cambridge-based marketing and sales software firm. ... indle.html


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Happn Is Launching In San Francisco

FAST COMPANY - Mar 26 - Happn, a fast-growing French mobile dating startup, is launching in its second US market today - San Francisco. The app is like a combination of Tinder and Craigslist's missed connections. Happn, which is already live in New York City, Paris, London, Berlin, Barcelona, Sydney, was founded by former Daily Motion COO Didier Rappaport. It boasts 2.5M users worldwide. It offers users a form of digital flirtation called "charms" which they can purchase - 10 charms for $1.99. ... cisco.html

Lifemates Canada Charged Thousands For Mismatches

CBC NEWS - Mar 25 - Two Canadian women, Gabriela Klacansky and Jan Blackmer, say they are out thousands of dollars after signing up with dating service Lifemates Canada. Gabriela Klacansky was interviewed at a Lifemates office in Vancouver. She describes the interview as a "draining interrogation" that lasted more than 21 hours. She paid ~$4,300 for a one-year membership. Her first match was so off it seemed random or maybe a mistake. She gave the company one more chance, but the next match was no better. Klacansky asked for a refund, but got an "outright refusal" to cancel her membership or offer compensation. Jan Blackmer tells a similar story. "They asked me to bring financial documents with me to prove that I had money in the bank … so that I qualified", she says. Lifemates Canada says the two women gave up too soon. ... tches.html


Courtland Brooks - We help Internet dating companies grow. Strategy, PR and Business Development services.

Tinder Could Change The Way Investors Think About Online Dating

QZ.COM - Mar 25 - In March, Tinder announced it was moving to monetize its service with Tinder Plus. For a company said to be valued at ~$1B, the move was inevitable, but also risky. Tinder has built its reputation and user base around a casual, fun and totally free-of-charge experience. Competitors will likely be keeping a close eye on whether Tinder is able to cash in on its estimated 50M+ active users. “Tinder is certainly setting the pace and is kind of the bellwether for whether these apps can be monetized,” said Justin McLeod, CEO of dating app Hinge. “The investment dollars are going to depend going forward on whether Tinder is able to monetize.” ... ating.html

The Inner Circle - EU Equivalent To US App "The League"

BUSINESS INSIDER - Mar 25 - London dating app and website "The Inner Circle" bills itself as a platform for "high-end" community. The Inner Circle has a strict invite-only policy that includes a thorough screening upon registration. The site just launched in London after setting up in Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Stockholm and Amsterdam, where it was founded. So far, 50K people have been approved; there's a waiting list of far more. ... eague.html


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POF Fined For Violation Of Anti-Spam Law

KELOWNANOW - Mar 25 - POF has been ordered to pay $48K for alleged violation of Canada’s new anti-spam law. Complaints received by the CRTC (The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) launched an investigation into the email practices. Last summer, POF users were sent commercial emails with an unsubscribe mechanism that was not clearly and prominently set out. ... m-law.html

Zoosk Is Betting On Wearables For Growth

CNBC - Mar 24 - Zoosk is rolling out the beta version of its app for Android Wear smartwatch this week, and plans to fully launch next week. The app allows users to browse matches on the smartwatch and alerts them when they have matched with someone. Other dating apps like are already on the Android Wear platform and offer similar features. Zoosk filed for an IPO last April, which was later delayed. In December, the company laid off ~15% of its workforce and made management changes. Zoosk ended last year with $200M in revenue, but at a loss. ... rowth.html


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