VICE.COM - June 7 - It only takes a quick scroll through gay dating apps to see guys who express dismay with them; statements like "no hookups," and "no unsolicited nudes" are common in user profiles. That dissatisfaction is reflected in Grindr's 2.5-star rating on the Apple App store. Chappy claims to be different. Launched this year in London, and funded by Bumble, Chappy lets users toggle between categories called "Mr. Right" and "Mr. Right Now". Chappy isn't the only app trying to distance itself from the hookup culture. Hornet and Scruff are launching new features to introduce new ways to interact beyond hooking up, such as Facebook-style activity feed.
PR NEWSWIRE - Dec 21 - Fabrice Le Parc has been named GM for France, Tim Greene for New York and Darien Chan for Taipei operations. Le Parc, Greene and Chan will lead business development and customer acquisition strategies for Hornet. Le Parc has worked as a web entrepreneur, having co-founded and sold various companies. He served as the MD for be2 before founding his own dating site, Smartdate. Greene and Chan are seasoned executives who have helped build businesses for numerous online properties through their combined experience in financial, marketing and technology services.
PINK NEWS - Dec 18 - As part of the cooperation, Blued will be participating in an extension of the funding round to help expand upon the momentum and growth rates Hornet has been experiencing. Hornet raised $8M earlier this year from venture capital fund Ventech China. Hornet, founded in 2011, claims to be "the world's second largest gay social network" with 15M users, and 3M monthly active users.
VENTURE BEAT - Nov 22 - Hornet has raised $8M in its first round of institutional financing. The Series A round was led by Shanghai-based VC firm Ventech China, and adds to the $500k angel round Hornet raised back in 2012. Hornet says that the cash will be used to "support rapid business growth and user adoption" around the world. Ventech China participated in the Series C round of China's gay dating app Blued in June this year. Blued is big in Asia, and has claimed to be twice as big as Grindr.
This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.
PR NEWSWIRE - July 5 - "With the acquisition of Vespa, Hornet will provide the most innovative set of apps to the 250M strong consumer segment of gay men worldwide, and will be able to extend its innovation lead by integrating gay places and events in 300 cities in 70 countries worldwide into its products." Vespa's founder and CEO Christof Wittig, who co-founded Hornet in 2011, has been appointed the new CEO, while co-founder Sean Howell is now Chairman and President of Hornet. With 15M total and 3M monthly active users, Hornet is the second largest gay social network worldwide after Grindr.
This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.
GAY TIMES - June 8 - While they've promised to keep their traditional grid feature they're also offering up Discover and the Activity Feed. With Discover users can browse guys that have similar interests and use hashtags to make searches more effective, as well as 'New Guys' and 'Who Checked You Out' features.
by Anthony Sinclair
See full article at Gay Times
WIRED - May 20 - Computer researchers in Kyoto, Japan discovered a stalking method which is cheap, reliable, and works not only with Grindr but other gay dating apps like Hornet and Jack'd. It's known as trilateration. If Grindr or a similar app tells you how far away someone is—even if it doesn't tell you in which direction—you can determine their exact location by combining the distance measurement from three points surrounding them. In the US that's not a problem but in Islamic countries or in Russia, it can be very serious that their information is leaked like that.
In late 2014, Grindr responded to security researchers who pointed out that risk by offering an option to turn off the app's distance-measuring feature, and disabling it by default in countries known to have "a history of violence against the gay community". The lingering issue, however, remains: All three apps still show photos of nearby users in order of proximity.
GAYSTARNEWS - July 11 - Samsung and Google Play have taken down gay networking apps including Jack'd in South Korea. Samsung refuses to list apps like Hornet, Grindr or Scruff in its country owing to 'local moral values.' Jack'd has ~500K users in South Korea.
SDGLN - Aug 19 - In an effort to help prevent HIV infections, the Hornet Gay Social Network partnered with aids.gov to power its new feature that will help users locate HIV testing services and learn more about topics related to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
SAN FRANCISCO BUSINESS TIMES - Apr 26 - Hornet, the gay dating app that launched in 2011, has attracted 3M users and that number is growing 20% month a month. In addition to the US, it is very popular in Brazil, France, Russia and Turkey. The app raised $2M. It makes money with advertising and by selling premium accounts.
HUFFINGTON POST - Apr 24 - Hornet is a free gay app. Here is the interview with Hornet's CEO and co-founder Sean Howell.
Q: What inspired you to create such an app?
A: Aside from my background as an analyst, I am also an activist and really wanted something different than Grindr. We created something that helps people looking for a lot more than just sex, especially with travelers or people who are just moving to a city.
Q: What purposes does Hornet serve other than hooking up, and why?
A: We, the staff at Hornet, are made up of bleeding-heart homos whose backgrounds are VC's technologists and activists. This gives our community a much different feel. People are also using the app for business networking, to get a job, to explore moving, to plan their vacations.
Q: How do you compare with your competition, like Grindr?
A: I didn't know that that was my competition.
by Arthur Tam
See full article at Time Out