COMPUTERWEEKLY - Nov 26 - While 64% of online users would immediately stop using a site if it suffered a security attack or data breach, ~25% would continue using the site, according to a survey by NTT Com Security.
TECH CRUNCH - Nov 26 - Bullish is a new TechCrunch talk show. Their first guest was Arum Kang, the founder of Coffee Meets Bagel. She talked about how online dating has lost its stigma. "Online dating will be mobile only; that's where the trend is going", she also said." Watch the full interview.
KEYETV - Nov 25 - Lone Star Introductions, which is also doing business as eLove Matchmaking, is being sued by Attorney General Ken Paxton. According to the attorney, the company uses high pressure tactics to get users to sign up for pricey contracts and not delivering. The company must shut down offices in San Antonio and Austin, pay $500K in civil penalties and $20K in customer restitution.
BLOOMBERG - Nov 24 - AppYou is a new German-based dating app. It was developed by www.singletreffen.de and already has ~500K registered users. AppYou is targeting people 30+ and, unlike Tinder, doesn't require Facebook account.
NYTIMES - Nov 23 - IAC has created more value for shareholders over the last two decades than Disney or Microsoft. Mr. Diller's business model: Buy digital businesses, fold them into a conglomerate and then spin out the most successful ones. He started the experiment of breaking up IAC in 2008. There's Expedia, TripAdvisor (a spinoff of Expedia), Ticketmaster, LendingTree, Interval Leisure Group, HSN and now Match Group. If you invested $1K in IAC in Aug 1995 when Mr. Diller began the business, you'd have ~$16K today. If you invested $1K in a fund that tracked the Nasdaq index, you'd have ~$4,8K today. Skeptics say that all of these spinoffs are nothing more than financial prestidigitation. These companies, said Mr. Diller, "are under the scrutiny of a set of shareholders only wanting to own that business. I think that's very healthy."
ADWEEK - Nov 24 - New dating app, Blume, works like Tinder. But the app forces users to take a selfie of themselves within the app. Once both selfies are shown to the matched users, they'll appear for seven seconds, during which time each user must choose to accept the selfie and chat, or not.
INDEPENDENT.CO.UK - Cuddlr launched in Sep 2014 and gained users quickly thanks to press coverage. It was an app for people who were up for a cuddle. It was supposed to be strictly platonic but not everyone was convinced. Metro published an article titled: "Keep your hugs – the new Cuddlr app sounds seriously creepy." This controversy stirred further interest, and within the first week Cuddlr had 200K downloads. But almost as quickly as it appeared, Cuddlr was gone. (The app shut down in March 2015) The team spent a lot of time trying to get people to understand how it worked. But the story of Cuddlr did not end. The app has been acquired by New York-based entrepreneur Eugene Belenky, who relaunched it in September with the same premise but a different name: Spoonr.
OPW - Nov 23 - Online Buddies has appointed Hector Camacho as their new CEO. Hector worked with Online Buddies for 5 years as their Director of Advertising from 2007 thru 2012. Now he's back as their CEO, after the CEO of 8 years Adam Segel left the company in April. Online Buddies runs Manhunt, and the gay dating apps Jack'd and Dandy.
SUNTIMES - Nov 21 - Sam Yagan is the CEO of Match Group. The 38-year-old start-up ace, the son of Syrian immigrants, spoke openly about the crisis involving his parents' homeland. Born in Chicago, raised in Bourbonnais, the married father of three attended the Illinois Math & Science Academy, Harvard and Stanford Graduate School.
Q: Talk about your family’s history. A: My parents were born in Syria and immigrated to the US. My dad came to pursue his education in the late '60s. He later went back home, got married, brought my mom in '75.
Q: What was your trajectory into tech start-ups? A: I founded SparkNotes in 1999 with my two best friends from Harvard. Then, I started eDonkey, a media technology company, in 2002. I went to Stanford, then founded OkCupid in 2003. I co-founded Techstars Chicago. Each year, we take 10 start-ups, mentor them, help them grow. Now in our sixth year, our companies have raised ~$100M. In 2011, we sold OkCupid to Match Group.
Q: Your family is clearly an example of a successful immigrant story. What are your thoughts about calls for the U.S. to shut its borders to Syrian war refugees after the attacks in Paris? A: I'm disappointed. We are a nation of immigrants.
Q: The civil war has gone on for more than four years in Syria. Have you had family affected? A: I have cousins and other family members who have been displaced by the war. Thankfully, no one has been killed or injured. My parents are still thinking they're going to go back. My dream is just for peace.
BUSINESS INSIDER - Nov 21 - Mobile dating app Happn is growing like crazy and is rolling out new features including voice messages. The app, which launched in Paris in 2014, connects people who have crossed paths in real life. Happn now has 8M users worldwide. The app is gaining 1.2M users a month.
CNBC - Nov 21- Stitch, a companionship app for adults over 50, has been on the market since July 2014. It allows seniors to connect not just romantically but also allows them to search for platonic companionship, travel partners or fellow eventgoers. The start-up behind the app raised $1M and has grown to 25K users.
DAILYMAIL.CO.UK - Nov 20 - Today, 59M people are active subscribers to Match.com or one of its subsidiaries, including Tinder, OkCupid, and POF. Match.com started in 1993, when 30-year-old Stanford graduate Gary Kremen was looking for a date. Starting from scratch, he interviewed ~100 women to find out if they would use an online database - and if not, why not. 'There was definitely much more conservatism around this back then," he said. Fran Maier was tasked to create a female-friendly environment. She tweaked the questions they wanted to ask women, and she worked with a dating expert to design safety guidelines. Later, she would devise the idea of a paid membership. With ~$1.7M angel investment, Match.com launched in April 1995. By Dec 1996, they had ~100K users. Kremen stepped down as CEO in 1996 amid a dispute with investors over his leadership style and his desire to cater for LGBT users.
QLOBE NEWSWIRE - Nov 19 - Net revenues increased 204% YOY to $37.5M. (Membership subscription revenue $16M, mobile games revenues $9.5M, mobile marketing revenues $10.8M). Net loss was $0.8M, compared to $14.6M for the same period last year. Monthly Active Users were 73M in Sep 2015, an increase of 21.3% YOY. Momo is a leading mobile social networking platform in China.
REUTERS - Nov 20 - In March 2016, eHarmony plans to launch Elevated Careers, an online employment service using the compatibility matching techniques it has used in pairing couples. "It could be a game changer," said Michael Haberman, an HR consultant. Elevated Careers will use predictive algorithms and dozens of variables based on features within CVs and profiles and the firm's job listings to find a professional match.
BUSINESSWIRE - Nov 19 - eHarmony's latest move in its strategy to grow in new markets globally is the development of eHarmony.com/espanol. The new Spanish site will serve the 37% of eHarmony’s bilingual users who speak Spanish as well as a growing demographic of online daters in Latin America and beyond. eHarmony is already available in Singapore, the UK and Australia.