TIMES SQUARE INVESTMENT JOURNAL - Dec 17 - Acquired by Match Group in 2018, Hinge reported ~88% increase in revenue YOY in the Q3, along with niche apps like BLK and Chispa that match people based on their cultural backgrounds. In comparison, Tinder grew its revenue by 15%. Hinge brands itself as the anti-Tinder by appealing to daters suffering from swiping fatigue. Hinge's user base has grown from ~35K subscriptions before Match acquired it to 400K subscribers this year. It is estimated it will have ~8M subscribers in 2030 and $2.8B in revenue compared to $60M in 2020. Amid Hinge's boom, Tinder's slowdown indicates it has grown as big as it can. Match needs a different strategy to remain competitive. "The only way now that it can grow is by taking a more niche-oriented route," said Mark Brooks, who consults with online-dating companies on marketing strategies through his agency, Courtland Brooks. Bumble's growing popularity is a threat. With ~100M users globally, Bumble is going public next year, seeking a valuation of $6B. "Bumble is brilliant because what they've done is soaked up the most in-demand women," said Brooks. "The in-demand woman on a Match platform is going to get inundated." Match planned to acquire Bumble for $450M in 2017, but Bumble rejected the offer. Match acquired Hinge instead. It also launched niche dating apps including BLK and Chispa for the Black and Latino communities. "Match has always had a hard time with niches," said Brooks. "They like large scalable dating platforms." Besides BLK and Chispa, Match recently launched other community-based apps in the U.S., including Upward for Christians and acquired marriage-minded service Hawaya for Muslims.