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VENTURE BEAT - May 28 - Kippo has raised $2M for a dating app for gamers who want to find like-minded companions. Primer Sazze Partners led the round, with participation from Tinder executives and partners at Eaton Workshop, NextGen Venture, and IHeartComix. The capital will primarily be used to expand the interactive features on the app. The name for the company comes from a Korean word, and it's a twist on "happiness". The grand vision is to create a platform for everybody, a platform that is a gamified experience for people to meet new people". Gamers identify what games they like and include a lot of photos in their profiles. They also connect using in-game names, rather than phone numbers. 93% of Kippo users go on a virtual date and play video games together before meeting in-person. The company was founded in 2019 by David Park, Cheeyoon Lee, and Sean Suyeda.
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MOMO - May 28 - Q1 revenue decreased by 3.5% YOY to RMB3,594.1M ($507.6M). Net income attributable to Momo increased to RMB 539M ($76.1M) in Q1 2020 from RMB 289M in the same period of 2019. Monthly Active Users on Momo app were 108M in March 2020, compared to 114.4M in March 2019. Total paying users of live video service and value-added service, including 4.2M paying users of Tantan, were 12.8M for the Q1 of 2020, compared to 14M in Q2 of 2019. "Q1 2020 was a challenging and yet very fruitful quarter for Momo," commented Yan Tang, Chairman and CEO of Momo.
DAILYMAIL.CO.UK - May 28 - Tinder has launched a new feature, called Promts, that allows users add question-and-answer cards to their profile. Prompts show a range of questions on subjects including pets, favourite songs and past-times on a user's profile, with their answer typed below. These cards will then appear on the app after a potential suitor has swiped through all the profile pictures added. Questions available will be updated regularly.
BUSINESSWIRE - May 28 - The Meet Group, a leading provider of interactive dating solutions, will be participating in two upcoming virtual conferences. The App Promotion Summit USA and Mobile Growth Association's MGS Global Virtual Conference will both take place in June 2020.
DAILY MAIL - May 26 - According to Bumble's recent survey, more than half (55%) of UK online daters are seeking long-term relationships after the coronavirus lockdown is lifted. The UK lockdown period, which started on March 24 and is being gradually eased, has left people 'very lonely', Bumble said. 43% of users think they will spend more time chatting online and focus on getting to know each other before they meet in person. Only 29% of respondents plan to continue using video dating.
BUSINESSWIRE - May 26 - Hily, one of the fastest-growing dating apps in the world that gathered ~11M users just in one year, is now available in Japan. Hily's primary goal is to provide its users with better communication. The app matches the users based on ~40 entry points. Hily's newest feature called Compatibility Quiz allows users to check if they are compatible with people they want to swipe right on. The system will show detailed results with points they had in common and a description of their prospective relationship. For Hily, the Japanese launch is the first move to Asia. Last year, the dating app successfully rolled out to 20 countries in Europe and Latin America.
LEINSTER LEADER - May 27 - Mad Hatter was nominated by the local community for grant to help survive Covid-19 lockdown. The coffee shop is owned and run by Alice Cope, and was nominated by locals who use the app. The Bumble Community Grant is a programme which aims to provide financial support to small businesses in need during the Covid-19 pandemic. Bumble received ~2,6K applications and nominations in total for the grant across Ireland and the UK.
NEWSWIRE - May 26 - PositiveSingles, a dating platform for people with STDs, has introduced a new video call feature for their iOS users. The website has ensured security and privacy while rolling out this video chat feature. There is a limit to the number of video chats users can have per day, to 20, and each call is for a max of two minutes. No one can send a video call request to hidden profiles and to people you are not in conversation with.
OUTSPORTS - May 26 - LGBT mental health researcher Jack Turban explains the vicious relationship between Grindr and mental health. He says Grindr works like a slot machine: once in a while you score, but more often, you fail. A survey of 2K iPhone users showed that 77% of Grindr users felt regret after logging on. "The big problem is, as a society, we have not created enough safe spaces for LGBT young people to explore their gender and sexuality in a developmentally appropriate way," Turban says. "As a young gay, lesbian or bisexual person, if you're closeted, you're probably not going to have a high school prom, you're probably not going to have a classroom valentine. Because kids don't have that place to explore, a lot of them go online. It feels safer and more discreet and more anonymous." Even for those who aren't struggling with their identities, the coronavirus quarantine can be an exceptionally isolating experience. Many LGBT people are closer to their chosen families than biological families, and it can hurt to not see them. Stuck without in-person socialization, it can be tempting to turn to Grindr for some instant gratification.
BIG THINK - May 26 - Research by Western Sydney University and the University of Sydney has linked the experience of swipe-based dating apps to higher rates of psychological distress and/or depression. 20% of participants who use swipe-based dating apps reported a significantly higher level of psychological distress compared to those who didn't use these apps. Not all time spent on these apps is damaging, however. Up to 40% of current users say they previously entered a serious relationship with someone they met through one of these apps. A study of 5K people between the ages of 18-30 years old shows that people are spending an average of 10 hours per week on dating apps alone. Men were logging on to check their status on dating apps 9 times a day, with women logging on 10 times per day to check their potential matches.
FORBES - May 24 - Online dating app Muzmatch serves ~2.5M Muslim users around the world. Its new video dating feature makes the world's first religious-themed dating app to include video calling. According to Muzmatch's own in-house surveys, 83% of its users had trouble finding a spouse because of lockdowns. According to CEO Shahzad Younas, the new function doesn't come without some controversy as video dating is rejected by many Muslims. Some followers would consider it "haram" or forbidden.
ITWEB - May 22 - Founded in 2015, The League was created by Amanda Bradford, who also serves as CEO, and is modelled after private members-only clubs like Soho House. The members-only swiping app, aimed at professionals, uses data and social graphs from both Facebook and LinkedIn to fuel its proprietary algorithm. In South Africa, it joins other popular apps like Tinder, EliteSingles, Predict Dating App and SouthAfricanCupid, to name a few.
Q: How are you coping amid the COVID-19 crisis?
A: Our mission of sparking connections has never been more important. We want to do everything we can to help singles feel less isolated and more connected.
Q: Did your business continuity plan work, or were there surprises?
A: We had to reprioritized our roadmap and went to work building new ways for our members to connect.
Q: What are the short-term ramifications for your specific industry?
A: The tools singles are using to connect changed overnight. Now 70% of our members would use video chat; before pandemic, it was only 6%.
Q: Have you found silver linings in these difficult times?
A: I think our team has become closer than ever.
Q: How are you maintaining your company culture?
A: We hold all of our meetings over video and we use Slack constantly. We get together via virtual happy hours, puppy parties, story time with kids, mindfulness activities, and we even celebrated our 25th anniversary over Zoom this week.
Q: What will things look like for your company and industry in another six months?
A: We will likely keep some work-from-home flavor for a little while as we slowly dial back to normal, whatever that may look like.