The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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Korean CareLabs Acquires Dating App Operator BNK Lab For ~$10M
THE INVESTOR - July 10 - Korean health care platform firm CareLabs has acquired BNK Lab, the operator of social dating apps, in a bid to strengthen its services in beauty and dating sector. CareLabs paid 11B won ($9.85M) in return for the entire 50K shares of BNK Lab. BNK Lab's platforms boasts a combined monthly active users of 240k. They include Babitalk, which provides information on cosmetic surgery, and multiple dating apps such as DangYeonsi and Sweetme.
Hinge Releases "Most Compatible" Feature
YAHOO LIFESTYLE - July 11 - This new feature recommends one highly compatible match every day. The app selects the matches based on algorithms that suss out users previous actions on the app and their interests. Hinge's latest feature comes on the heels of Match Group's purchase of a 51% controlling stake in the app in June. It also comes over a year after the company moved away from swiping.
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BharatMatrimony Launches New Dating App In 8 Languages
NEWSNATION - July 9 - Aimed at serving a larger audience, the new app was launched by BharatMatrimony, an online matchmaking service provider. The mobile app will be available in eight languages - Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Kannada, Marathi and Gujarati. The Indian languages internet user base was expected to grow to 536 million by 2021. Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu has the largest language users on the web in the country.
China's Tinder Embraces AI
MyLife makes it easy for matches on dating sites and other marketplaces to see reputation scores and run background checks.
Match Group Update: Tinder Gold Is Getting Even Shinier
SEEKING ALPHA - July 10 - June has been a busy month for Match Group. The company announced that it had acquired a controlling stake in Hinge, and also introduced several new features for Tinder, with several more currently in the works. Tinder Picks is a new feature available exclusively for Tinder Gold subscribers. Picks, which mimics rival app Coffee Meets Bagel, presents users with four profiles daily based on factors such as education, interests, and swipe history. Loops feature, which it had previously tested in Canada and Sweden, allows users to post two-second, looping videos to their profiles in lieu of a static photograph. The company is testing a "Places" feature, which allows users to see potential matches who frequent similar bars, shops, and other locations. In Q1 '18, Tinder added 368K subscribers and delivered its best average revenue per user (ARPU) growth in two years. According to Match CFO Gary Swindler, Tinder's ARPU in Q1 grew 37% year-over-year. The company's ARPU as a whole reached $0.58 in Q1 - well above the $0.53 that it achieved in 2017. With such fantastic economics and a sticky user base, Match Group is significantly undervalued as a company. Yet, shares remain depressed amid negative sentiment surrounding Facebook's entry into online dating.
IAC CEO Joey Levin: We Bought Hinge To Disrupt Ourselves
CHEDDAR - July 13 - At first glance, Match Group's acquisition of dating app Hinge, known as the "anti-Tinder," doesn't seem to make much sense. But for parent company IAC, the more competition - even internally - the better. "We have always disrupted ourselves, and we like to disrupt ourselves," explained Joey Levin, CEO of IAC. "So when we see something that says it's the anti-something-we're-doing, if it's a good business, it's a good management team, it's a good story, it's a good product, that's something we're interested in doing. We like competing with ourselves."
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Bumble's Whitney Wolfe Herd Swiped Right To A $230M Fortune
FORBES - July 11 - Bumble, which Forbes values at $1B, has brought its 29-year-old founder Whitney Wolfe Herd a $230M fortune. While Wolfe Herd missed the cut for this year's Forbes list of America's Richest Self-Made Women, Forbes predicts it won't be too long before she joins the ranks, assuming Bumble keeps growing at the rate it has. Only four years old and with ~35M users, Bumble has become America's fastest-growing dating app with users growing 70% YOY. With ~10% of them paying $9.99 per month for in-app perks and a advertisements launching last year, the company brought in $100M in revenue in 2017.
Happn Partners With Gameloft Advertising
PRESS RELEASE - July 10 - This partnership, with an international company like Gameloft Advertising Solutions, will allow Happn to optimize advertising revenue with a global reach on par with its presence around the world, and allow all brands to finally have access to its audience and its qualitative inventory. Launched in 2014, Happn is the first mobile dating app to use real-time geolocation to help you discover people users've crossed paths with in real life. To date, Gameloft Advertising Solutions has delivered ~3k campaigns for prestigious brands such as Air France, Coca-Cola, Ford, FOX™, Kellogg's, McDonalds and Netflix.
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