TECH IN ASIA - Oct 16 - Mobile dating app Love Out Loud Asia (LOLA) received seed funding from FatFish Medialab, made 350K matches, and paired over 10Ksingles across Southeast Asia. This acquisition arms Lunch Actually for the first time with a mobile-oriented service. The LOLA team will launch a new version of app in early 2015 for both iOS and Android.
This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.
HERALD SCOTLAND - Oct 16 - Kestrel is likely to have spent ~ £165K buying an additional 750K shares, increase its holding in Cupid to more than 13.9M shares (19.54% of the business). Cupid's shares closed up 0.25p, or 1.1%, at 23p, which means Kestrel's stake is worth more than £3M.
This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.
SEEKING ALPHA - Oct 16 - Despite a great product, the large marketing expenses (72% of revenue in fiscal 2013) and expected premium valuation of $8-$16 raise investing concerns. The question: Is any price in that range a good incentive to purchase shares, or could this be a short candidate once it goes public? Acquisition offers may be unlikely with limited IP and a game like user experience similar to OkCupid or Tinder, specifically if the company is priced at a premium in its IPO.
WOMEN OF CHINA - Oct 15 - The China Association of Marriage and Family Studies and leading dating service Zhenai.com, jointly launched the project that aims to combine the wisdom and strength from experts and scholars to guide modern concepts of marriage and family, especially in terms of gender equality and family responsibility. The project should also further research the laws and regulations on marriage and how to establish a happy family.
by Yao Yao
See full article at Women of China
FAST COMPANY - Oct 16 - Dr. Neil Clark Warren announced EH+, its first product that uses human intervention for the more "complex cases", costing $5K/yr. The company quietly launched a soft rollout of the service in January, but did not make a nationwide press announcement. Exact figures were not released but they revealed that several hundred customers have signed up for the new service. The founder also acknowledged that while approximately 600k couples have found wedded bliss on eHarmony, some 70% of its users say they are not satisfied with the online matchmaking site.
by Kathy Chin Leong
See full article at Fast Company
TELECOMPAPER - Oct 15 - Bitkom Research in corporation with Aris report that 36% were successful and found a partner. Among young people age 14-29, 23% has tried it. 16% of age 30-49, and 14% of 50-64. While 12% of Germans have signed up for a dating website, the study showed that only 8% are actively using the service. Only 25% of users were willing to pay.
@ANDREWCHEN - Oct 13 - IAC’s HowAboutWe co-founder, Aaron Schildkrout, explains a basic overview of why magical thinking is so pervasive in early stage online dating distribution strategies, with regards to Virality, Press, BizDev, Content, SEO, and Paid Acquisition / Direct Marketing. He explains that the most important and powerful customer acquisition tactic is building a product that people love. The other tactics are important — and sometimes become the key to growth — but in almost no consumer product cases can they be relied upon.
IFAMAGAZINE - Oct 13 - Richard Griffith, one of Cupid’s top-five shareholders, has raised his share capital from 3.9% to 8.9% after buying up 3.2M shares. Cupid reported last month that revenues in H1 declined to £7.2M from £9.4M in H2 2013 due to lower direct marketing spend, a more competition market and delays in implementing product changes.
The full article was originally published at IFA Magazine, but is no longer available.
OPW - Oct 14 - Do you have any dating domains you'd like to sell? Please list them on an auction site (e.g. namejet.com) and send me a link (email@example.com) to the domain sale. We'll review it and run it in a special post on November 1st and list your domain for sale.
THE GUARDIAN - Oct 13 - Lisa Hoehn's website, Profile Polish, offers editing of dating profiles. “Writing about yourself is really hard,” says Hoehn. She spends three to four hours on each client, rewriting their profiles to sound conversational, upbeat and interesting. Business is steady, if seasonal. Major dating sites tried to offer professional profile editing services themselves but failed, says Mark Brooks, an internet dating industry analyst. Match and eHarmony learned that people required all-around coaching on online romance. It’s a territory Brooks terms “hazardous” for the dating sites to do themselves. Evan Marc Katz has a dating coaching business that is focused entirely on women. He charges $5,250/4weeks and $7,775/12 weeks to teach women how to make a man commit. If that may seem like big money, Brooks is not surprised. It’s behavioural economics, he says. “When people do good [in dating], then they are willing to pay good in business.” More and more users are moving to mobile apps. The distant future, Brooks says, may be wearable computing. More data could lead to better algorithms. In 10 years’ time, dating websites may track everything that goes on when you meet your online date. “Do we know your heart rate? Do we know if you’re sweating. There’s going to be so many more observables,” Brooks says.
THE ATLANTIC - Oct 13 - Last week, IAC launched Delightful, a dating site aimed at people who seek love and relationships, rather than just hookups. It will be headed in part by the comedian Steve Harvey, who will serve as the brand’s “Chief Love Officer.” “This is our first brand focused on the L word as opposed to other brands that focus on dates,” said Sam Yagan, the Match.com CEO who will run Delightful with Harvey.
Q: What is your role at Match?
A: We sold OkCupid to Match in Jan '11. In Sep '12, I became CEO of all of Match. We haven't slowed OkCupid down. I run all the brands like cousins. You want your cousins to do well, but you want to do better.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue dating?
A: Before we launched SparkNotes, everybody used CliffsNotes, which was sort of the Match of study guides. What really made it work is that SparkNotes was a better product than CliffsNotes, and it was free. We decided for online dating because it was one of the things people pay for, and we wanted to make it free.
STL TODAY - Oct 11 - A Nigerian man, accused of running an online “romance scam” that victimized ~30 women in USA, has been arrested in London. He pretended to be a member of the military, using information and photos he’d stolen from real people on online dating sites.
by Robert Patrick
See full article at STL Today