The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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:~ TOP ONLINE PERSONALS WATCH NEWS ~:
The Meet Group Q4 Results, Acquires Gay App Growlr for $11.8M
BUSINESSWIRE - Mar 6 - For Q4 2018 revenue was $52.5M, up 31% YOY. GAAP net income was $4.3M, compared to a net loss of $68.1M the prior year Q4. The prior year Q4 included a non-cash asset impairment charge of $56.4M and a deferred tax charge of $7.7M. Adjusted EBITDA was $10.6M, compared to $10.5M in the prior Q4. In 2018 revenue was $178.6M, up from $123.8M in 2017. "In addition to reporting a strong quarter, I'm excited to announce the acquisition of Growlr, which provides a meaningful step into the large same-sex dating market and expands the base of users to whom we can deliver our live video product," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. "Video transformed our business in 2018," continued Cook. "Our goal is to build the best place to meet new people through video. We increased the average monetization per daily active video user to 18c, up from 14c in the Q3, 2018." The Meet Group acquired Growlr for $11.8M, using $4.8M in cash and $7M from its existing line of credit, plus an earnout of $2M to be paid in annual $1M installments over the next two years if certain revenue metrics are achieved in each year. The Growlr app has ~200K global DAU, who exchange millions of messages each day.
Lumen, Dating App for 50+, Attracted 350k Users
OPW - Mar 5 - Lumen, the dating app for 50+, is proud to announce the 350k users milestone today. The app launched in the app store 6 months ago, and raised Ł3.5M from Andrey Andreev, the Founder of Badoo.
Bumble's Founder Is on a Mission to Clean Up the Internet
INC - Mar 2 - A bill was introduced Thursday in the Texas House of Representatives that would make sending an unsolicited nude or sexual photograph a misdemeanor punishable with a fine up to $500. Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder of Bumble, put the spotlight on so-called cyberflashing. "Right now the Internet is the Wild Wild West. It's ridiculous that there is no accountability online for things you are not allowed to do in the real world," said Wolfe Herd. "We are trying to make a law for indecent exposure, but for the digital realm." A few months ago Wolfe Herd hired a lobbyist to help seed the idea. On Thursday Texas Rep. Morgan Meyer, a Republican from Dallas, took up the issue and introduced a bill that would add to the state penal code an offense "of unlawful electronic transmission of sexually explicit visual material." As written and if passed, the bill would take effect September 1, 2019.
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Deep Learning-Powered 'Fake Faces' Will Transform Catfishing
FORBES - Mar 11 - Catfishing and the use of false profiles to scam and extort people online has become an unfortunate fact of our modern digital life. Deep learning now allows the creation of entirely artificial faces and voices. It is possible to create fake faces reflecting any demographic background and age. While the photos still contains tell-tale imperfections that give it away to the trained eye, the average person is unlikely to see if the image is fake, especially when viewed on the small screen of a mobile device while on the go.
Inside the World of Dating Profile Ghostwriters
SALON.COM - Mar 6 - "Everyone is doing online dating, and now everyone is trying to optimize themselves and make themselves stand out more because there is a lot of competition," said Alex McDermott, the co-founder of PimpMyProfile. PimpMyProfile offers three packages: For $99.99, a client receives ten pre-written messages; $199.99 includes profile writeup and three opening messages. For $399.99, users can get a personal consultation and professional photo editing, in addition to what is offered in the second package. Eric Resnick has been in the business of writing online dating profiles since 2004, when he worked at Match.com back when they had writers on staff to pen profiles. Once the feature was no longer offered to users, he started his own business called ProfileHelper in 2005. Resnick has made his living off of that ever since. Resnick's company offers three different packages that range from $49.95 to $199.95. The highest tier includes an hour one-on-one consultation with Resnick, which he says is the most popular package. His workload ranges from having 1 to 15 clients a day. Eddie Hernandez, a professional photographer based in San Francisco, specializes in online dating photos. His customers can choose four "looks," which include wardrobe and location changes, for $875.
Vivek Jain Co-creates a Video Dating App With Comedian Norm MacDonald
CBC.CA - Mar 11 - Vivek Jain has had a career that's seen him bounce from Bermuda, New York and London. He's bought a football team with Motley Crue's Vince Neal, and his latest venture has seen him come up with a video dating app that he launched with comedian Norm MacDonald. MacDonald and Jain ended up meeting at a technology conference and hitting it off, followed by meeting again on a plane. The two stayed in touch, so when Jain told MacDonald about how his kids were telling him he should go out and date more, they began brainstorming ideas for dating apps. They came up with an idea for a video dating app called LOKO, that would allow people to see each other and talk before meeting.
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Dating App Hily Officially Launches in the UK
PRESS RELEASE - Mar 11 - Hily, the US dating app that stands for "Hey, I Like You", is launching in the UK this week. Hily provides a high level of safety and security through profile verification. The unique feature of the app is the usage of AI. Hily analyses users' likes, matches, and dialogues to create a personalized set of potential partners.
MyLife Launches Online Dating ''Reputation Score'' Profile Rating Solution to Protect Women
ACCESSWIRE - Mar 8 - MyLife.com, the reputation platform; enhancing safety, credibility, and trust for marketplaces, is now offering its Reputation Score to online dating services, allowing single women and men to do surface level background checks on one-another prior to meeting in person. MyLife's Reputation Score solution provides an access to users' public background and social information.
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