OPW INTERVIEW - Aug 21 - We first heard about LoveRoom in November last year. The concept of allowing users to share their room for free with attractive strangers has sparked some controversy. Bocanegra listed his place on Airbnb, and to make it more appealing, he used the photo of his girlfriend for the profile. Soon he started getting reservations at $80 a night. This is where the idea for LoverRoom kicked in. We've interviewed Joshua about how LoveRoom went from just an idea to a website that has attracted ~10K people in 6 months without any PR efforts.
BUSINESS INSIDER - Aug 14 - Rocket Internet is one of the most successful and controversial startup incubators in the world. Last week, the Berlin-based startup accelerator raised $445M at a $4.5B valuation. And it’s reported to be shooting for an IPO soon, with hopes of reaching a valuation as high as $6.7B. Rocket Internet's strategy is to copy ideas that work in certain markets and build the same exact business model in regions that haven’t yet been explored. It launched eDarling in 2008, a copy-cat of eHarmony. The site now operates in 20-plus countries. eHarmony was a 30% shareholder until 2013. eDarling focused on mostly non-English-speaking countries, but have announced plans to expand to the U.K. and Ireland recently.
This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.
BUSINESSWIRE - Aug 21 - Zoosk a new Photo Verification feature to confirm the authenticity of members’ profile pictures. Members who choose to verify their photo will be prompted by the system to record and submit a video “selfie” that will capture the individual’s face from a variety of angles. If the moderators approve the member’s photo, he or she will be notified and a Photo Verified badge will be added to their profile. The video “selfie” will remain private.
The full article was originally published at Herald Online, but is no longer available.
ASSOCIATED PRESS - Aug 20 - On dating sites like PetsDating.com and YouMustLoveDogsDating.com users are encouraged to bring their dogs on first dates to break the ice. "Dogs are amazing icebreakers," said Kris Rotonda, who started YouMustLoveDogsDating.com last year. The site has now 2M members.
by Sue Manning
The full article was originally published at SacramentoBee, but is no longer available.
BBC - Aug 20 - "Everyone is unique and individual but when it comes to dating and relationships, people follow a very common set of patterns", according to POF founder, Markus Frind. "Nearly 70% of the time we're able to predict exactly who you're going to end up in a relationship with," he says. At POF's headquarters, dozens of TV screens display charts and graphs that monitor, in real-time, the millions of messages that users are sending each minute on the site. With all this data, POF can quickly suggest matches to new users who fill in detailed questionnaires about themselves upon joining. POF gets ~2B page views each month and 29% of users find their partner in less than a month. Frind says the transition of users to mobile phones over the past two years has been one of the biggest challenges the company has faced.
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.
PR NEWSWIRE - Aug 19 - AYI, the social discovery app owned by Snap Interactive, is now the top grossing app in iTunes App Store. (See iTunes rankings) 32% of new subscription transactions originated from mobile platforms in July 2014.
WSJ - Aug 19 - Match Group is expected to trade at a higher multiple than the rest of IAC, particularly as it starts monetizing Tinder. IAC hasn't mentioned a spinoff but has taken steps in that direction, including creating Match Group with its own management. IAC would need to stabilize it's search-and-apps business (includes Ask.com and About.com) before leaving it on its own. If IAC proceeds with a spinoff, it won't necessarily be a smooth sailing for Match either. Revenue and subscriber growth has slowed in the past three quarters. Average revenue per subscriber has fallen for the past six. The problem: Most user growth is at OkCupid and Tinder, which are free.
OPW - Aug 19 - I'm sending out a survey tomorrow to members of the Internet Dating Executive Alliance. Here's the deal... If you get the survey link and complete the survey this week you'll get the results back in early September for free.
This survey will be a repeat of the internet dating survey that we helped Subscription Site Insider do three years ago, so it will be interesting to highlight the big changes. I won't be selling the report. It will only be available for free to respondents. So please take the time to carefully fill in the report if you want to see the survey results and analysis.
If you don't get the survey link tomorrow and are a dating industry executive and would like to take it, please email me at [email protected].
SEEKING ALPHA - Aug 18 - MeetMe has gone from 800K users to 1M in just three months. Mobile revenue is up 114% YOY and mobile average revenue per user is up 123% YOY, outpacing Facebook by 41%. The company is improving in all metrics while the stock is down 37%. Social media is a fast growing sector, led by Facebook. There are smaller companies such as MeetMe that may be worth investing in. The keys to look for are: user growth, revenues, and the innovation.
OPW - Aug 16 - We've been so busy working on OPW that we actually forgot our own birthday! The first post was published on this blog on June 9th, 2004. Since then, more than 8,000 news summaries were posted and we've conducted more than 250 interviews with dating industry execs and service providers. And we've had 8,500+ comments from you, thank you - your opinion is always valued and appreciated.
We are trying to make OPW's news easier to access - you can get them directly to your mailbox, every day or a summary once a week, find them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you can even install an OPW toolbar right to your browser.
We like what we do, so OPW got several younger siblings over the years, e.g. Social Networking Watch, Internet Dating Affiliates and a couple of smaller blogs. Wearable.ai is the newest member of the family. But it all started with OnlinePersonalsWatch - so, please wish firstborn a happy birthday by Liking us on Facebook. We're committed to you, and helping the Internet dating industry grow.
GEEKWIRE - Aug 11 - After 11 years building innovative platforms matching singles with one another, Duane Dahl and Cindy Henry have co-founded a unique Seattle-based website that is a hub for local food. Its mission is to connect food producers, restaurant owners, entrepreneurs, and anyone associated with the food industry. Launched in April as a social purpose corporation, the site uses a business model that is a mix between AngiesList and Etsy, making money through business subscriptions and advertising in addition to a marketplace with listing referral and transaction fees where users can buy, sell, refer, and trade local food products and related services. In less than four months, the site has listed more than 125K farms, food hubs, farmers markets and food delivery services attracting more than 25K page views/day.