OPW INTERVIEW - Aug 10 - MeetMe had impressive Q2 results and announced their acquisition of Skout, one of the hallmark mobile brands in the dating industry. I spoke to Geoff Cook, CEO and Co-founder of MeetMe, about the acquisition and what it will mean for both brands. - Mark Brooks
Why did you choose to buy Skout?
I have always been impressed by Skout's number of chats per user per day. We've made a lot of progress on MeetMe, going from 8-10 chats per day to 25-30 chats per day, and Skout was having comparable numbers. We felt very familiar and comfortable with their business model. 90% of their revenue comes from ads, which is very similar to our business model. They have 700k-800k DAU, combined we're ~2M DAU. We looked at some of the top level metrics and saw this merge as a pretty clear pathway to $100M revenue. So it made sense both strategically, operationally, and financially.
Would you say that the acquisition of Skout has expanded your geographic footprint?
It certainly expanded our geographic footprint. ¾ of Skout's DAUs are international. MeetMe is much more focused on the US. Only half of our 1.3M DAUs are international. Skout is strong in Asia, so this will also increase our density among Asian users.
So, in these areas, will you promote Skout or MeetMe? How do you intersperse the numbers and drive membership between the two?
The first thing we will be working on is the lowest hanging fruit. We can improve their ad program based on our knowledge of mobile monetization. We are also thinking about cross promotion to drive MeetMe users to Skout and vice versa. We do intend to maintain Skout as a standalone brand. But over time, there will be no reason to have two separate cloud based chat systems.
How would you imagine someone describing the Skout end user experience vs the MeetMe experience?
They are very similar. In terms of how they are different, MeetMe has put a fair amount of emphasis on "Discuss" feature, where we transformed feeds into topic oriented communities. Skout has "Queue", a swipe-able feature where you can like or dislike different users to unlock the chat, which is a relatively important piece of their app. We will continue investing in both "Queue" and "Discuss" and make them better.
How about the teams? Will you have an office in San Francisco? Have any changes been made?
At the time of the announcement, there was a reduction at Skout. Skout's founders, Christian Wiklund and Niklas Lindstrom, have both agreed to help us for a year. We will maintain a team and an office in San Francisco and are looking to be posting open positions shortly to tap into the talent pool there. Right now we have our main office in New Hope, PA, and we have a satellite office in Philadelphia in order to tap into that job market.