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Issue 599 - OPW/iDate Industry News - January 21st, 2019
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Author:  datingindustrynews [ Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Issue 599 - OPW/iDate Industry News - January 21st, 2019

The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.

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:~ TOP ONLINE PERSONALS WATCH NEWS ~:


Dating App JigTalk Raises $1M

BQ - Jan 14 - JigTalk, the dating app that encourages online daters to talk more, has officially closed its seed round of $1M. The round was led by Apadmi Ventures and includes significant backing from high profile London, New York and Manchester-based angel investors. In addition to growing its team to 10 full-time staff, the company has also welcomed a new Chairman, Christopher Edmonds. Edmonds is the ex-global MD of technology for JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley. Over the course of the last 2 years, JigTalk has beta tested the app in the north of England and built a team ready to launch its app UK-wide, starting in London in Jan 2019.


Grindr Lays Off Its Entire "Into" Editorial Stuff

ADVOCATE - Jan 16 - Into, Grindr's online LGBTQ publication, laid off its entire editorial staff and its corresponding social media team this week, because "the company will be refocusing its efforts on video." Into, launched in August 2017, had branded itself as an LGBTQ news source that targeted millennials. However, Into's editorial team found itself at odds with management in November, when one of the digital magazine's reporters called out Scott Chen, the president of Grindr, for remarks that appeared to be anti-LGBTQ. Additionally, Into made headlines in December for a commentary piece that called an Ariana Grande music video transphobic and racist. The piece sparked such a strong backlash on social media that editors had to issue an apology and remove the byline of its writer due to death threats.


IAC, Match Sue Tinder co-Founder Sean Rad

SEEKING ALPHA - Jan 16 - IAC and Match Group sue Tinder co-founder Sean Rad for theft of company files and other proprietary information. Six months ago, Rad and other Tinder co-founders sued IAC for allegedly undervaluing Tinder to limit the earnings from exercising stock options. The suit claims at least $250M in damages. IAC/Match say Rad created backups of internal emails, forwarded company emails to his personal account, and directly copied files with sensitive material. Rad's lawyer says his employee contract allowed him to back up his email and calls the suit a "desperate act of retaliation."

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How The Meet Group Gets Live-Streaming to Pay Off

AD EXCHANGER - Jan 17 - In less than two years, The Meet Group managed to diversify its revenue from a near total dependence on programmatic advertising to a mix of ads, in-app purchases and subscriptions. "90% of our revenue was ad-driven before we started to shift," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. "Now it's ~40% advertising, 60% users pay." In late 2016, The Meet Group built a live-streaming video business modeled after Momo, a Chinese dating app which was able to make ~$200M per quarter within a year of introducing live video into its platform. In the 15 months since The Meet Group launched live-streaming video, annualized video revenue alone is ~$70M. "~20% of our daily users and as many as half of our monthly active users spend 20 minutes a day watching live streams," Geoff Cook says.


Tinder's Spotify Integration Now Lets Users Share Music

MSPOWERUSER - Jan 15 - Tinder and Spotify have been integrated ever since 2016 when the dating app began allowing users to share their favourite songs and anthems to their profile pages. This data was also used by the algorithm to help users with similar music taste surface prospects who were more likely to swipe right. Now, Tinder users are able to share snippets of their favourite Spotify songs directly in the chat itself. This is done with a new Spotify button, allowing users to search for any song that is available in the streaming service's catalogue and then sharing it.


Muzmatch Is for People Looking for Marriage

BUSINESS INSIDER - Jan 14 - Dating app Muzmatch claims ~1M users. Founded by an ex-Morgan Stanley banker, the app caters to Muslims who are looking to find a partner to marry. Muzmatch is mostly popular in Britain, the US and Canada. Shahzad Younas left his job as banker in June 2014 to learn how to build apps after he had the idea for the company. In April 2015, initially using almost $200K of his own savings, he launched the first version of the app from home, and grew it to 50K users around the world in less than a year. He met iOS engineer Ryan Brodie in April 2016. The pair revamped and relaunched the company in August 2016. In summer 2017, the duo raised ~$2M in seed investment. By halfway through 2018, they had 500K registered users. Muzmatch claims to be the only one in the world with a chaperon feature, which allows a friend or relative to be present in a chat. "There's an Islamic principle where when a guy and a girl are getting to know each other there should be a third party present," Younas says. "For some users it's important – if it didn't have that feature, they wouldn't use it." In October 2018, it launched ads on the London Underground with catchy phrases such as "Halal, is it me you're looking for?" It launched a second campaign in January with similarly tongue-in-cheek taglines.

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Tinder Promotes Lennart Schirmer to Regional Director of Europe

PR NEWSWIRE - Jan 17 - Lennart Schirmer, previously Tinder's Country Manager for Germany, has been promoted to Regional Director of Europe. In this role, Schirmer will oversee operations in Germany, the UK and France. Schirmer joined Tinder in 2017. Prior to Tinder, Schirmer was the CMO of Berlin-based travel startup Wimdu.


Believr - Dating App for LGBTQ Christians

LGBTQ NATION - Jan 13 - Although it hasn't launched yet, Believr is a social app aimed at "an LGBTQ+ Christian dating community." According to a 2017 Gallup poll, approximately 4.5% of people identify as LGBTQ. Of those people, 50% identify as Christian.

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The OPW/iDate Dating Business Insider is first and the largest weekly news summary in the dating industry. Since 2004.
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