DAILY MAIL - Jan 23 - A new dating website is aiming to match people with just that - encouraging them to pick their matches simply on raw intuition and the help of a few snaps. Matches will be hand-picked after users have answered 21 short questions about basic core values and worldviews.
TECH CRUNCH - Jan 22 - Investors in the round include IDG Ventures, Structure.vc and Sherpa Ventures along with angel investors, including Allen DeBevoise, Naomi Gleit, Mark Leslie, Russ Siegelmann, and Peter Kelly. One additional undisclosed venture fund and an undisclosed angel investor also participated. The cash will be used to double its two-person engineering team and continue its very methodical rollout strategy.
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST - Jan 22 - Kiss Hugs, a mobile dating app, was launched in November 2013 and Hong Kong-based angel investor Bigcolors took a 12.5% stake in the company a month later, providing most of its seed capital. With the sale of Kiss Hugs, Bigcolors has made a return of 5.6 times on its investment in the space of a year. Crowd Mobile notes that Asia is an attractive market for its high level of smartphone usage and significant growth in in-app spending.
TECH CRUNCH - Jan 22 - Weinreich, the founder of dating app MeetMoi, is joining the ranks of business schools, serial entrepreneurs and even national foundations offering startup entrepreneurs a compressed education in how to succeed in (starting up) a business. Rather than charge hefty fees to participants, Weinreich is partnering with service professionals like the law firm Goodwin Procter and others to defray the cost of the two-day program Weinreich calls “Roadmaps To Entrepreneurship“.
TECH TIMES - Jan 21 - "Invisible Girlfriend and Invisible Boyfriend" are the result of one man's frustration, and a little bit of desperation. Co-founder Matt Homann was newly divorced and tired of feeling pressured to jump into something new. Subscribers can choose a name, personality, age, race, hairstyle and photo for their new virtual companion - or, can have the app build one for them. Features include having fake texting conversations, fake phone calls and receiving fake handwritten letters, all in a bid to fool family and friends into thinking you're not as lonely as they think.
NY POST - Jan 21 - Nearly four months after his very public ouster from the mobile matchmaking app, the Tinder co-founder still sits in the IAC-controlled company’s chief executive seat, the company said Wednesday.
TELECOMPAPER - Jan 20 - When accessing the website GoTinder.com via an Etisalat connection, the webpage is redirected to a blocked page message. It says the site falls under the Prohibited Content Categories of the UAE's Internet Access Management Policy. Internet dating is banned for contradicting the ethics and morals of the UAE. Du subscribers do not appear to have the same problem.
INVESTING - Jan 18 - Topeka Capital analyst Victor Anthony maintained a Buy rating on IAC with a price target of $87 on January 16th citing the ad potential on Tinder that could lead to increased monetization. Anthony sees “more opportunity overtime with the paid user transactions model,” he believes “advertising could be meaningfully incremental if done correctly.”
CTV NEWS - Jan 18 - The legal battle between the Canadian dating site and a former employee who claimed she was injured typing up fake profiles of women has come to an end. The parties agreed to the move after the court threatened to dismiss the suits with costs, noting the cases still hadn't been placed on a trial list more than two years after the initial lawsuit was filed.
AD AGE - Jan 16 - Gillette paid the popular dating app to test the theory that unkempt facial hair, from stubble to full beards, wasn't as desirable on Tinder as a clean-shaven or well-groomed face. The Procter & Gamble razor brand, working with Publicis shop MRY, is now promoting the results on a website at Shavetest.com. The campaign also offers a glimpse into Tinder's evolving revenue-generating strategy.
HERALD SUN - Jan 17 - The survey by dating site RSVP found women were 3% more likely than men to take up a “special friend”. 50% of those aged 18 to 29 had a mutually beneficial relationship with a friend. People aged 30 to 39 were most likely to have a friendship with benefits (58%). 1 in 5 singles older than 60 had a sexual relationship with a friend. More than 1/3 of people aged 40 to 59 admitted to such a relationship.
PR WEB - Jan 20 - Manjam users can now connect using any mobile device without having to download an app from tightly controlled and censored app stores. The team at Manjam.com believe it is essential for companies to offer alternative ways for people to express themselves, without large tech companies editing what they can and can't say. Users can now break from app store restrictions by accessing the Manjam dating app directly from their device’s web browser.
OPW - Jan 18 - Oasis Active is a big free Internet dating site that is very popular in Australia and South America. Dave Heysen and Daniel Haigh are the co-founders and will be attending iDate this week.
Why did Oasis Active merge with RSVP in June 2014? We felt that together we would be a stronger market force and cover more of the market, particularly the Australian market.
What was the nature of the deal? The deal was a Merger, with the aim to look for synergies between the two companies. Both companies need to be more dynamic to deal with the pace at which the market is currently changing. Together the two brands control a strong % of the Australian dating market and we will work to try and strengthen that position even further. The Oasis.com/Amorenlinea.com platform will also now have the resources to push further into markets outside of Australia and promote our new App coming out early in 2015.
What's your new role? Daniel Haigh (the other co-Founder of Oasis Active) is now the Director of Product and Technology and myself CEO of RSVP & Oasis. We are both Executive Directors of the combined entity.
How's the team transitioning to work with RSVP? Great – within the next few months we will all be under the same roof. The teams from both sides are excited at the prospect of working across all the brands RSVP, Oasis and Amorenlinea.com, to name a few. Combined we have circa 30 full Time employees as well as customer service representatives. Our customer service is a combination of in-house/outsourced. We currently have a couple of relationships outside of Australia that primarily help us with the languages we support apart from English, such as Spanish, Portuguese etc.
How will the products work in unison? Has their positions changed? The brands will still remain separate. We have been pushing some traffic between the sites trying to offer daters more opportunity as there is under 10% crossover of membership in Australia. At this stage their positioning will remain the same but we will be working to make sure we give each brand the best chance in the market. If that means altering the market positioning, that is something we will have to do.
Oasis is quite international. Will you continue to push internationally? What countries are you strongest in? We continue to grow our Spanish speaking base throughout Central and South America and Spain. We will be pushing harder in these markets once our new Spanish android app is released in February 2015.
ARS TECHNICA - Jan 15 - Geographic locations of Grindr users in the US and most other places can be tracked down to the very park bench they happen to be having lunch or bar where they're drinking and monitored almost continuously, according to research scheduled to be presented Saturday at the Shmoocon security conference in Washington, DC that shows Synack researchers we able to set up a free account and track the detailed movements of several fellow users who volunteered to participate in the experiment.
TECH CRUNCH - Jan 15 - The move was made as part of a larger effort to lower expenses in many areas. News of the layoffs follows the exit of Zoosk’s founders from their leadership roles last month, and confirmation that the company was indefinitely delaying its IPO plans.
AFP - Jan 15 - The site will launch in the next few days and promote long-term marriages among the under-30s who make up 55% of Iran's 77M people. There are strict prohibitions on sexual contact before marriage in Iran, but that can be circumvented under the Shiite form of Islam practised in Iran by "sigheh," or temporary marriage, under which a couple can contract matrimony for as little as an hour. The government is seeking to discourage the practice and as many as 300 websites deemed "illegal and immoral" that often encourage sigheh.
TECHZIM - Jan 15 - As far as target markets are concerned Zimbabwe is primed for dating services. Like the rest of Sub Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe has a very young population with 55% of the country in the 15 to 64 age range. 41% of Zimbabwe is below the age of 15 which represents a rising market that will fit snugly in the teenager bracket. Where tech adoption and appreciation of new trends is concerned this is the group of early and easy adopters that is likely to relate to any exciting form of social media better than older generations.
NJ.COM - Jan 15 - 'Allergic Attraction,' is a social media website designed expressly for allergy sufferers. The site targets high schoolers and college-aged students, who are at a higher risk for allergic reactions. AllergicAttraction.com is free to join and has a couple hundred subscribers so far. And while the website is presently geared toward high school and college students, the site is open to older allergy sufferers using it. Users upload a profile picture and pick an allergy or allergies then choose what type of relationship they're seeking: friendship or dating. From there, they can find potential matches.