TECH.EU - London-founded video dating app The Sauce has raised £1.25M in a seed funding round. The funding will be used to continue further development of the app. Founded in 2020 by serial entrepreneurs Emma Clark and Sachin Karia, The Sauce officially launched in May 2021.
PR NEWSWIRE - Dating.com, part of the Dating Group - the company behind 30 online dating sites, with offices and dating experts in seven countries - released new data from its latest survey on the top international dating trends in 2022.
In the UK, 45% of singles are sending gifts to potential dates before meeting in person
In France, 63% of singles travels ~70 miles to meet their date
North Americans are chatty. In the U.S., singles are more likely to meet up with their match after 30 messages are exchanged, while most Canadians wait until they've exchanged 100 messages on average.
Worldwide, 38% of singles are open to dating someone who doesn't speak the same language as them.
Singles in North America are spending the most on first dates, citing an average of $300. Europeans come in next, spending ~$150 to impress their potential match.
DEALSTREETASIA - Chinese social media firm NewBorn Town is planning to set up a $100M fund with an aim to privatise BlueCity Holdings, the operator of Blued, the country's biggest LGBTQ dating app. BlueCity's founder, chairman, and CEO Baoli Ma currently holds a 30.4% stake in the firm, which means that the buyer group will need to purchase the remaining 69.6% stake, or ~25.9M ADSs, for ~$48M in total. BlueCity has formed an independent special committee to evaluate and consider the going-private proposal. BlueCity started trading on Nasdaq after a $85M IPO in July 2020. Blued, which serves over 60M registered users in 170 countries and regions, offers social networking, live streaming, and health-related services to the LGBTQ community.
PSYCHOLOGY TODAY - Japan is leading the pack in the age of singlehood. Three separate surveys conducted between 2010 and 2018 in Britain, the U.S., and Japan reveal that the proportions of women aged 18 to 24 who are currently single were 65.6% in Japan, 62.6% in the United States, and 41.5% in Britain. Yet the gap opens up wildly when looking at the proportion of women aged 35 to 39 who are currently single. The numbers in these surveys were 24.4% in Japan, 16.6% in the U.S., and 14% in Britain. Japan's population shrank by 947K (0.74%) in the five years between 2010 and 2015. 45% of women and 25% of men between the ages of 16 and 24 reported they are not interested in sexual contact.
THE VERGE - This will allow dating apps - and only dating apps - distributed in the country to avoid Apple's 15 to 30% commission on in-app purchases. Dating app developers can either direct customers to a website to complete their purchase or add a third-party payment service within the app. However, if developers choose to snub Apple's payment service in favor of an alternative, Apple says it won't be able to help users with refunds, subscription management, or any payment issues. Apple has also appealed the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets' (ACM) decision. "Because we do not believe these orders are in our users' best interests, we have appealed the ACM's decision to a higher court," Apple explains. "We're concerned these changes could compromise the user experience, and create new threats to user privacy and data security. In the meantime, we are obligated to make the mandated changes which we're launching today and we will provide further information shortly."
HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW - A large-scale two year study (with Inner Circle) suggests that carefully managing the threshold for the number of referrals needed in order for referring customers to access the premium features can increase customers and generate more profitable ones. There's 8k+ dating sites in the world. In 2019, 39% of U.S. couples said they met online. In 2020 270m adults worldwide subscribed to a dating site, ~double 5 years ago. Most sites don't have a clear idea of how profitable referred customers are compared to the (originating) friends who invited them to join the site. The number of successful referrals users are required to make before they can access premium features (called the referral threshold) can have important effects on users' behavior. Referral-driven growth typically comes at a cost: as the number of referred users in the population grows, their collective level of engagement tends to fall. Raising the number of successful referrals needed to win free access to premium features did not have an impact on the relative activity of their converts. New members were as engaged as those invited by users in referral programs that had a lower threshold. Total revenue increased when we raised the number of successful referrals required for free access to the premium features. Adding additional referral requirements in exchange for premium features did not disincentivize some users. Tweaks could be dynamic: the platform could start by assigning a freemium plan to all users, and after assessing behavior, decide whom to give the option of joining its referrals-for-features program. Individuals value having their friends on the platform. Social referral programs designed to enhance the shared experience of online dating (for example, by organizing offline activities) could be particularly effective in increasing platform engagement.
Mark Brooks: This study was run by Professor Ting Li and Professor Rodrigo Belo, Rotterdam School of Management. Given that the only mutual contacts I have with them on Linkedin are with Inner Circle, I'm going to infer that this study was with Inner Circle. In short, it's worthwhile amping up your price and proposition testing. Time to hire a data scientist if you don't already have one, or perhaps open up to experiments by academics like this. See IDEA's Project 0d8 at 0d8.com, btw.