LINKEDIN - Breeze is a new dating app based in the Netherlands. The app, which encourages offline dates, has recently raised €1.3M. Breeze's users cannot chat but can immediately plan a date with their matches via the app.
LAW360 - An Illinois federal court will hear a proposed class action against Match Group and Tinder that alleges that the online dating companies violated the state's Biometric Information Privacy Act by illegally storing biometric facial scans of Tinder app users without their consent. Tinder allows users to earn a "blue checkmark" on their profile, meaning Tinder has "verified" their profiles under its Liveness Check and 3d Face Authentication process. The lawsuit accuses Tinder of failing to first secure written consent from Illinois users and provide certain notices to those people concerning how the facial scans will be used, stored, shared and ultimately destroyed, as allegedly required by the Illinois BIPA law.
SEEKING ALPHA - Grindr's shares opened at $8 on Nov 18, reaching a high of $9 in early trading before falling to a new 52-week low of $6.52 in late afternoon. Grindr went public following the merger with SPAC Tiga Acquisition through a deal that valued the combined company at ~$2.1B.
CAMPAIGN - According to Data.ai, dating app global downloads have increased 173% from 293M in the H1 2017 to 799M in the H1 2022. Global consumer spending on dating apps increased 320%, from $643M to $2.7B. "Dating apps give singles 'the paradox of choice' - when we have too many choices, we end up not making any," says Violet Lim, co-founder and CEO of Lunch Actually Group, the largest dating agency in Southeast Asia. Lunch Actually differentiates itself from others by focusing on handpicked matches and real dates rather than casual dating. Other apps, including Coffee Meets Bagel, are entirely dedicated to helping daters find serious relationships. Coffee Meets Bagel continually celebrates their #CMBcouples - couples who have met and formed serious relationships on the app - and this continues to drive word of mouth. Bumble has seen success with campaigns like 'It Starts With Hello' that ran in the Philippines and Singapore. The campaign was driven by the insight that some women might be overwhelmed by the idea of starting the conversation on Bumble, so the campaign encourages them to overcome their hesitation by making it as simple as typing 'hello'.
WALL STREET JOURNAL - Inflation has changed modern dating for Gen Zers and Millennials. Cheap dates are not only more common but an appealing quality. Half of single Gen Zers and Millennials are now seeking out less expensive places for dates, according to a survey of 8K people by Plenty of Fish.
BUSINESS INSIDER - Investors include Chris Kaufman, the co-founder of the sneaker marketplace StockX, and Kevin Edwards, the CEO of the Canadian food-delivery service SkipTheDishes, along with several angel investors. The app, expected to launch early next year, aims to cater to Gen Z, with the possibility for users to video chat, play games, and send each other virtual gifts. The app has brought on the Internet star Cameron Dallas, who rose to fame in the early 2010s on the short-form video app Vine and now has ~25M Instagram followers. He previously co-founded a subscription platform called Fanfix. SuperOrdinary, a beauty accelerator, acquired Fanfix in July in an eight-figure deal.
MASHABLE - In an in-app survey among Tinder users aged 18-24 in the UK, U.S., and Australia last month, 1 in 10 respondents said they prefer situationships as "a way to develop a relationship with less pressure." The app saw a 49% jump in members adding "situationship" to their profiles from January to October this year.
NBC NEWS - Joel Simkhai helped launch Grindr in 2009. Grindr piloted geolocation to show users' distance from one another, fundamentally changing queer culture. It brought millions of people together in ways that gay bars - the longtime focal points of LGBTQ social scenes - simply couldn't. But some say it worsened the physical and racial discrimination that has long plagued the gay community. Now, more than a decade later, he wants a do-over in the hope of "course-correct" and avoiding the pitfalls of existing apps. Simkhai launched a queer dating and hookup app this month in New York City called Motto, which he says has innovative features to help prevent toxicity and discrimination. Motto requires users to have face pictures instead of "headless torsos" and limits time spent on the app by serving users ten profiles a day. The app also requires a verification process for every user.
THE SUN - AI will transform the way people around the world find their matches online, according to Christopher Gulczynski, one of five Tinder's founders and the CEO of the social media platform Niche. "People are hungry for more quality interactions rather than quantity," he said, adding that Tinder and Bumble are more focused on the latter. People could soon carry their online profiles in a chip that would work like a digital wallet. AI could then be used to match people based on factors such as the networks they are in or the hobbies they enjoy.
CBS NEWS - Heather Meador and Anna Herber-Downey are both public health nurses employed by Linn County Public Health in eastern Iowa. They've learned that dating apps are the most efficient way to inform users that people they previously met on the sites may have exposed them to sexually transmitted infections. They got approval from their bosses at the local level to build profiles on dating apps, through which they can contact the sex partners of infected people.
NEWSDIRECT - Dua Token is the first Seeker startup to launch a funding round on AllianceBlock's peer-to-peer participatory funding platform, Fundrs. Their token sale started on Nov 23rd. AllianceBlock launched Fundrs, a peer-to-peer funding platform, on Avalanche and Ethereum Mainnet networks in August. Fundrs allows blockchain-based projects and traditional startups to receive funding from the platform's users. After raising $4M in a Series A round, Dua plans to tokenize its 5M+ users through cryptocurrencies and decentralized technologies.
MASHABLE - Tinder has launched a series of "healthy" dating guides in collaboration with No More, a global non-profit dedicated to eradicating domestic violence and sexual assault. Some guides examine potential red flags, while others look into how to approach the subject of sex and intimacy. There's a range of information about going on an in-person date safely and maintaining respect throughout the dating process. The content is available on No More's website and will be found in-app on Tinder starting on November 26th for two weeks. This will appear via a swipe card redirecting Tinder users to No More's site.
REFINERY29 - 'Are We Dating The Same Guy?' started as a Facebook group for New Yorkers that allows women to anonymously share warnings about guys they've dated, or request intel on potential suitors. The group has accrued 60k members in just a couple of months and spawned sister groups in most major US cities and internationally. 'Are We Dating the Same Guy?' was founded just a few weeks after 'West Elm Caleb' went viral on Tik Tok. 'West Elm Caleb' is a twenty-something Brooklynite whose Tinder screenshots blew up after multiple women all shared negative experiences with him on TikTok. The saga underscored the power of the wider community to share intel and compare experiences. According to cyber dating expert and relationship coach Julie Spira, seeking out a 'reference' can be a way to vet your date and feel safer while navigating the digital courtship process. "In a perfect world, everyone should have a friend or family member as a reference, but don't count on it," says Julie. "The most valuable part of dating online is that there are digital tools to help you find information about your date."
LTR - Delbert has been building businesses and making impactful brands for the last 15+ years. He started his career in P&G working on its most iconic brands. He then took his talent to the world of technology and startups. Now he is CMO of Coffee Meets Bagel. He emphasizes that CMB focuses on delivering the highest quality matches looking for long-term relationships. It is designed for serious intent & efficiency.
Delbert predicts the future of the dating industry with analogies such as laundry. Laundry has its own kind of convergence. He maps that convergence and compares this to the dating industry convergence. People me people at work, and througn friends, and matchmaking services, and then the web came along. That's where the first generation of online dating services, match, eHarmony, OkCupid, and then eventually mobile came along. Online dating really exploded in popularity and homogenized. He believes everything eventually follows the same trajectory.
We have a very extended Q&A session with Delbert where we discuss the rise of influencer marketing and it's challenges.
LTR stands for Love, Technology, Relationships and the online conference covers the Internet dating and Online Social Communities space. It is for members of IDEA and OSCA.