SAN DIEGO BUSINESS JOURNAL - Aug 27 - Two entrepreneurs Sunmeet Gill and Ravinder Singh believe that the prices for finding a mate on dating sites are too high. So they've launched a new dating site called Luvia.com, where users purchase "luvnotes" with each valued at 1 cent to communicate. By using micropayments rather than monthly fees Gill and Ravinder believe they can gain some traction in the market that has been dominated by 4 big players. According to IBISWorld, the online dating market grew only 1% in 2011 as the market slows and consolidates.
FORBES - Aug 24 - Markus Frind, founder of POF estimates that based on the number of marriages that have resulted in these matches, over one million babies have been born as a result of his website. Frind quickly found ways to monetize Plentyoffish from the very beginning, initially utilizing Google’s AdSense to profit from Plentyoffish users. He also leveraged the power of affiliate networks to make money from those browsing Plentyoffish. Now Plentyoffish is seeing a tremendous growth in mobile use.
TECH CRUNCH - Aug 24 - "You donate $5 to us once, & we remove all ads from the site forever.” That’s the text from a sidebar banner appearing on dating site OkCupid to users with ad-blocking software installed. This is not about offering a premium option with extra features and services. It’s about directly courting those with ad-blockers to pay for what they consume and uphold their end of the value exchange. OkCupid is simply asking ad-blocking users to support the site on their own terms.
EXAMINER - Aug 22 - Meetme.com describes itself as a “social gathering place” – a place for people wanting to make friends, date, and/or play video games.
Q: How Meetme.com works?
Geoff: Meetme.com is a re-imagination of offline activities – like meeting people at a bar or coffee house, but online.
Q: Is there a fee structure?
A: It’s free to join. You can purchase our Spotlight services for 50 credits or $1 to get access to more profile views and more friend requests.
Q: Who do you consider your competition?
A: Badoo and Tagged.com.
Q: What % of your members use the mobile app vs. the website?
A: ~60% of our daily active users are mobile users.
Q: Do you notice more people in urban areas using it, like L.A. and New York?
A: According to our survey 57% of our users met in person with someone they first met on app. 56% met for friendship and 44% for dating. The likelihood of someone to meet in real life is same – whether it’s an urban city like L.A. or some small town.
by Kelly Seal
The full article was originally published at Examiner, but is no longer available.
OPW - Aug 23 - It's more than just Markus, ya know. The Plentyoffish team has expanded to 66 people as of today. A far cry from Markus working in his apartment on his own just three years ago.
Markus still runs his occasionally controversial industry blog at plentyoffish.wordpress.com. But now there's a new, more user-focused blog at blog.pof.com. If you'd like to meet the team, here's 13 of the new team members, pictured with their 'date must-haves.'
PRESS RELEASE - Aug 23 - Dating Factory, a white label dating platform that claims ~11M active members worldwide, have been working alongside Relationship.com LLC (owners of Relationship.com) to produce a new dating site aimed at women in their twenties and thirties and men in their thirties and forties. Relationship.com will launch of a fully fledged social media campaign which is being managed by UK based agency Just Search.
The full article was originally published at Dating Factory, but is no longer available.
STANDARD.CO.UK - Aug 22 - The word on the street is that Cupid plc is being eyed up by Match.com. Cupid beefed up its own portfolio earlier this summer when it paid £2.9m for Assistance Genie Logiciel, a French dating firm. Cupid more than doubled its revenues in 2011, notching up £53.6M against £25.7M in 2010. Profit at the company was up from £4.2M to £7M.
TECH IN ASIA - Aug 23 - Blued is a new gay Android and iOS dating app that launched in China. It allows sign-up with local social networks such as Sina Weibo or Tencent QQ. The company behind Blued is called DanLan.
by Steven Millward
The full article was originally published at TechInAsia, but is no longer available.
METRO DAILY - Aug 22 - Johnny Skandros is the co-founder of gay dating app Scruff. Using GPS, Scruff tells a user who is in his immediate vicinity. Scruff is available at no cost, or with subscription rates for enhanced features. Scruff recently become a top-grossing app in the App Store. Johnny started at the USC film school. After taking a class on gay and lesbian film he got inspired to move forward with studying film. After USC, he worked in Santa Monica for a year as an assistant film editor. Then he moved to New York. He pitched the idea of Scruff to his friend. Scruff launched in July 2010 and after first week saw thousands of downloads. U.S. is Scruff's largest market followed by U.K. Brazil and Taiwan are also very large markets. Scruff is translated into 12 languages.
TECH CRUNCH - Aug 22 - Tagged, a social network for meeting new people, has raised $15M in growth capital financing from Lighthouse Capital Partners and Comerica Bank. The company previously raised $9M in funding. Tagged was on an acquisition tear in 2011, buying hi5, Digsby, TopicMarks and WeGame. Tagged's revenue grew by 35% to~ $43M in 2011.
This post also appears on SocialNetworkingWatch.
WEBWIRE - Aug 22 - Online dating can feel like a high pressure meat market for women. CheckHimOut empowers women to make all the decisions in their search for love. At CheckHimOut.com, it’s the women who must initiate the contact with men, while the guys cannot interact with the ladies until they’ve been selected by them first. “CheckHimOut.com is the perfect site for single moms who want a more sensible approach to online dating" said Katie Greene, spokesperson for CheckHimOut.
NY TIMES - Aug 21 - Both Match.com and OkCupid, which was bought by Match last year but operates independently, are getting behind the offline idea. Match bought commercial time during the Olympics to promote “The Stir,” as it calls its gatherings. Match.com has held a few hundred events each month since May in more than 50 cities. OkCupid has organized ~100 events in New York since early July and plans to bring the idea to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and a few other cities in October. Smaller services are also offering gatherings. MeetMoi has been hosting get-togethers to bring more of its users to the same space at the same time. And Nerve, a sex and dating site based in New York, says it is working on a mobile app that will emphasize nearby events. The move toward real-world meetings follows some well-publicized studies that cast doubt on whether personality tests and data can accurately predict whether two people will be compatible. “We still use our matching algorithms,” said Mandy Ginsberg, president of Match.com. “But maybe it is slightly easier to walk into a room full of people meeting and talking.”
CLICK2HOUSTON - Aug 22 - WhatsYourPrice.com and SeekingArrangement.com let men put their money where their mouse is, all while women get paid for companionship. Brandon Wade is the mastermind behind these websites. "Some go as far as calling me an e-pimp, but I think I'm an e-cupid." said Wade. On What's Your Price, a man offers a "price" for a date and the woman can accept, decline or counter the offer. Seeking Arrangement is the same idea but covers longer periods of time with monthly payments. Seeking Arrangement has 1.6M members. Despite Wade's claims that members are just looking for love on the site, he has admitted that 40% of the men on Seeking Arrangement are already married.