EMERCE - Breeze is now the third most downloaded dating app in Holland, after Bumble and Tinder, respectively. The app encourages users to meet IRL as soon as possible. Users are not allowed to chat but can immediately plan a date with their matches via the app. Breeze claims it helped organize over 28K face-to-face meetups so far, a number that almost doubled in the first half of 2022.
THE BRUSSELS TIMES - Tinder is opening an outpost in Ghent where 33 Belgian IT professionals will work to develop the app, making Ghent the first European city to enhance it. Tinder is available in over 190 countries and is used in 40 languages. The five countries with the most Tinder accounts are the US, UK, Brazil, Canada, and France. Tinder has 66M active monthly users.
PRESS RELEASE - Launched in 2007, SugarDaddyMeet.com (SDM) is a sugar dating site for successful generous men and attractive women. In its bid to prevent catfishing, SDM launches free verification process for its members. The feature allows users to verify their identity by uploading a photo of documentation. It could be a Driver's License, passport, or any other form of valid ID. Once the ID has been checked, a checkmark will appear on the profile to show the users are legit.
PROTOCOL - The change is Apple's response to legislation in South Korea that prevents app store operators from forcing developers to use their own in-app payment systems. Now, developers can use alternatives and bypass Apple and Google's 30% commission by accepting money directly from consumers. The law was an amendment to South Korea's Telecommunications Business Act, passed last summer. Apple said developers who choose to use external payment systems won't be able to use features like Ask to Buy or Family Sharing because the company can't validate payments that occur outside the App Store's "private and secure payment system." The company also can't help with refunds, purchase history, subscription management and other issues users may face by using third-party systems.
GRITDAILY - Mariko Tokioka could be described as a unicorn in the startup world. Forbes Japan named her to their Most Influential Women in Business list, and also featured her in their 55 Women in Global Leadership. Her first startup, Quipper, was sold for $40M and turned her second startup, EME Hive, into the world's largest Asian American dating site. She has raised ~$12M for EME Hive.
Q: What advice do you have for startups struggling during this downturn? A: Act fast and focus on long-term growth. Options you can take include, strengthening customer service with the goal of decreasing customer churn. Or, enhancing up-sell and cross-sell programs for existing clients to add a long-term value while strengthening cash position.
Q: What advice do you give for startups running out money? A: You typically have three options: raise more money from investors, sell more products, and cut costs. If you are in the pre-seed or seed stage, VCs mainly look at the team and potential rather than financials. If you are in later stages, you should be ready to take a low valuation.
Q: How are you preparing for the downturn at your company, EME Hive? A: We have raised plenty of cash to withstand any economic downturn. We have plenty of runway, and continue to develop and improve our live streaming platform. Our live streaming revenue has grown 4x since 2021. For now, our plan is to stay the course and keep doing what we're doing.
Q: What do you see on the other end of any recession for startups? A: Labor gets easier to find and it's more affordable, especially in the tech space. Ultimately, recessions help eliminate the weak ideas and fortify the strong ones, so stay strong and focused on making your startup dream a reality.
BBC - "Decision fatigue", also called "dating app burnout" is a prevalent phenomenon in the app-based dating world. People grow tired of the endless scroll of potential dates. A recent Badoo survey showed more than three-quarters of singles felt burnt out by unrewarding interactions and inappropriate matches from platforms and apps. Hinge also found that 61% of users were overwhelmed by the dating process, which sometimes feels like "a second job". The design of dating apps can also create frustrations for burnt-out users. Many useful features are behind a paywall. It's also tricky to navigate multiple dating apps at once. Hopping between different interfaces can cause problems. Bumble's relationship expert Caroline West suggests approaching dating apps with more intention and to focus on quality over quantity. Bumble has a feature allowing fatigued users to "snooze" their activity so they can take a break and alert matches that they're doing so. For some people, a dating pause is exactly what they need.