The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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Facebook Is Taking On Tinder With New Dating Features
THE VERGE - May 1 - Facebook is adding dating app features, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today during the company's F8 developers conference keynote in San Jose, California. The features are a long time coming. The move will likely transform Facebook into a major competitor of Match Group. Match Group's stock plummeted by ~17% as soon as the news was announced. "This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships - not just for hookups," Zuckerberg joked onstage. He added that it's going to be within the main Facebook app, but it will be completely optional and opt-in only. "Your friends aren't going to see your profile, and you're only going to be suggested to people who are not your friends." Facebook's dating features may be unavailable to users who list themselves as "in a relationship" or "married," as Zuckerberg introduced the feature by saying it was designed to appeal to users who list themselves as "single."
China's 21st Richest Person To Purchase 70% Of Baihe
TECHNODE - May 4 - Fosun International chairman and business magnate Guo Guangchang plans to purchase a majority stake in marriage and dating site Baihe.com for just under RMB 4B ($630M). Baihe.com's shareholders entered into an agreement with Yuanhong Investment to sell 869M shares at a price of RMB 4.6 ($0.72) per share. Guo controls 100% of Yuanhong, which will make him a controlling shareholder of Baihe.com when the deal goes through. There has been no indication as to when the purchase will be concluded. In Dec 2015 Baihe acquired rival dating and marriage platform Jiayuan for $250M. The company then reorganized to become the Baihe Jiayaun Network Group in September 2017.
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CoffeeMeetsBagel Raises ~$7M
PITCHBOOK - May 4 - Coffee Meets Bagel has raised ~$7 million in Series B funding, per an SEC filing. The funding values the San Francisco-based startup at about $82M. The round comes just as Facebook enters the online dating game. Coffee Meets Bagel, named because matches are referred to as "bagels" in the app, has previously raised ~$10M in equity funding from investors including DCM Ventures, Quest Ventures and Azure Capital. The founding team consists of three sisters, Arum, Dawoon and Soo Kang. The trio famously pitched to Mark Cuban on Shark Tank in an episode that aired in 2015.
Match Wants To Move From 'Swipe Right' To 'Press Play'
MARKETWATCH - May 3 - Match is the leader in the online-dating industry, and the company will rely on new features, including video profiles and location-based additions, in its bid to stay on top. Match.com now has a "stories" feature, and Tinder users in certain countries can experiment with short "loops". The video options will be free. Match also has things planned that could make it easier to connect with those living nearby. The location features take into account not just geographic location but "the ability to connect on social experiences" happening nearby. Facebook, too, said that its dating platform will enable users to connect via events they're interesting in attending.
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Matrimony.com Registers 88% Growth In Net Profit
THE HINDU BUSINESSLINE - May 4 - Matrimony.com, an online provider of matrimony-related services, reported 88% growth in consolidated net profit at ?17 crore ($2.5M) for Q4 ended March 31, 2018, compared with ?9 ($1.3M) for the corresponding quarter last year. Revenue increased by 12% to ?84 crore ($12.6M). For the fiscal ended March 31, 2018, net profit increased by 72% to ?74 crore ($11M). In the Q4, the company acquired secondshaadi.com, an exclusive portal for divorcees.
The Meet Group Q1 '18 Financial Results
BUSINESSWIRE - May 3 - Q1 total revenue was 37.6M, up 88% YOY. Mobile revenue was $30.7M, up 63% YOY. GAAP net loss was $4.2M. "Video revenue grew ~120% from Dec '17 to Mar '18, which we attribute to momentum on our MeetMe app, the launch of livestreaming monetization on Skout, and our focus on strengthening our livestreaming community and the quality of our livestreams. Our annualized video revenue run rate now exceeds $29M based on April's results, up 53% from February's run rate," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. The Average revenue per paying video user grow to $76 in March.
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Egyptian Matchmaking App Harmonica Raises $150K From 500 Startups
WEE TRACKER - Apr 27 - Cairo based matchmaking startup Harmonica is set for expansion having qualified for seed acceleration from the global accelerator, 500 Startups to the tune of $150K. The startup is a part of 18 startup companies that received seed acceleration in the 23rd batch of 500 Startups global accelerator in the Silicon Valley. Currently, the app claims 70K unique users which 10k are daily active users. The recently raised funds will be used to improve its technology and algorithm and add to its team members. Harmonica was founded by Sameh Saleh, Tamer Mohamed, Shaymaa Aly and Aly Khaled. The app prides itself on being strictly an Arab oriented matchmaking app.
Badoo Adds Live Video Chat
TECH CRUNCH - May 2 - Live video in a dating app context raises some immediate risk flags, including around inappropriate behavior which could put off users. "I pressed 'play' last night and after about 45 clicks on 'Next' encountered 5 straight up penis shots," said TechCrunch's former co-editor Alexia Tsotsis when she tested video chat app Chatroulette back in 2010. Clearly Badoo will be hoping to achieve a much better ratio of quality conversation. The video chat will only be switched on once both parties have matched and exchanged at least one message each. The company also says live video can help enhance dating app safety - saying the feature can be a way for users to suss out a stranger to see whether seem trustworthy before risking meeting in person, and also help to weed out fake profiles and catfishing.
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