BUSINESSWIRE - June 11 - The Meet Group, a leading provider of interactive dating solutions, allows GROWLr's members to send virtual gifts inside the app. Some of the virtual gifts available range from teddy bears, rainbows and roses, to the top gift of a dragon, worth 100K credits. "The launch of virtual gifting is very exciting for the community," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. "Not only does gifting provide a new way for our members to express themselves and connect with others, we also expect it to increase video engagement across the dating app, just like we've seen on MeetMe, Skout, and Tagged."
FORBES - May 11 - The Meet Group provides interactive live video solutions for its apps - MeetMe, LOVOO, Skout, Tagged and Growlr, and also Match Group's Plenty of Fish. Across that spectrum, The Meet Group works to ensure safety and security for its social media connections. Recently, the live meet-up sections of MeetMe, Skout and Plenty of Fish introduced NextDate speed dating sessions with built-in The Meet Group Technology. Running now through May 30, those sites will host Speed Dating Social Hours at 10PM and 11PM ET, every Thursday and Saturday. The Meet Group will reward those who find their match on NextDate. The first 25 couples to match will receive 8K ($50) credits redeemable on the MeetMe, Skout, and Plenty of Fish dating apps to buy and send gifts to members who are live-streaming on the apps or playing NextDate on any of the social media platforms.
by John Scott Lewinski
See full article at Forbes
BUSINESSWIRE - May 7 - The Meet Group, a leading provider of interactive dating solutions, is launching live video on its gay dating app GROWLr. Additionally, in the midst of the pandemic, one-on-one video chat is now free for all GROWLr members. "Livestreaming allows people to make connections and remain socially distant," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. Since the release of Live, 87% of surveyed GROWLr members said they feel they are able to connect with more people, and 90% have agreed that the feature provides them with a better way to meet and socialize with others during the pandemic. Beginning this week, GROWLr will host a variety of free live entertainment shows on its mobile app, welcoming musical artists, comedians, and more.
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BUSINESSWIRE - Apr 2 - The Meet Group, a leading provider of interactive livestreaming solutions, is rolling out Live Video to users of its gay dating app, GROWLr. "In today's climate, livestreaming allows people to feel connected while maintaining proper dating distance," said Geoff Cook, CEO. "Since the outbreak, we've seen explosive, overnight growth of our other live video platforms, MeetMe, LOVOO, Skout and Tagged. In the last week, we saw a 33% increase in time spent in video and a 38% increase in video chats per day compared to the week before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization."
QUEERTY - Feb 19 - Social media has erupted with a massive growl of anger following mass account suspensions on gay dating app Growlr. The mass suspensions appear to have begun February 17. Growlr was sold to The Meet Group for ~$11M last year.
OPW INTERVIEW - Oct 29 - TellYourPartner.org is a new STD prevention tool launched by Building Healthy Online Communities (BHOC). It allows users to anonymously text or email a sexual partner that they might be at risk of an STD. We have interviewed BHOC director Dan Wohlfeiler about how dating apps can help stop the spread of record high STD infections among their users.
What dating apps have signed up to assist?
Grindr includes the link to TYP in its sexual health FAQs. Daddyhunt is currently designing new reminders to get regular sexual health check-ups, and what tests those should include. GROWLr, Grindr, Adam4Adam, and Daddyhunt have incorporated suggestions on profile design related to sexual health options.
How are they working with TYP, and BHOC?
BHOC works closely with apps to help customize HIV and STD prevention strategies. We've worked with them to design profile options that help users exchange information about whether or not they are taking Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), have an undetectable viral load, and/or prefer to use condoms. This helps users make informed choices, and importantly, promotes norms about taking active steps to promote sexual health. BHOC has worked with apps to help users sign up for automatic testing reminders at their choice of three or six-month intervals. Based on app owners' requests, BHOC also developed an extensive sexual health information resource guide, and continues to update it regularly. We've also worked with apps to help inform users about outbreaks. We're also partnering closely with Grindr to promote home-based testing. We have also partnered with apps to produce public service announcements, and are developing a clearinghouse of campaigns for public health organizations to share. This will reduce their need to invest in developing new creative, freeing up more funds for ad placement.
What would you like to see dating apps support TYP and BHOC?
One key strategy is to regularly and consistently promote getting tested, and let people know about TYP and the other resources that BHOC has available. Our research shows that app users look favorably on apps that take proactive steps to support their health, so it's a win-win for the industry and for public health. Profiles should have options to enable users to exchange clear information about sexual health strategies. Dating apps can also show support by promoting our digital anti-stigma campaign, NiceAF.org, and by offering discounted ads for public health departments and non-profit organizations, all of which have extremely limited budgets.
How is BHOC funded at this stage?
BHOC has been funded by Gilead Sciences, Inc., Google, Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, and private donations. Additionally, our public health partners and apps have dedicated considerable time and energy in helping obtain and provide input from their members and users that guide our work. We're particularly grateful to those apps that have made changes in their platforms, such as profile options and testing reminders. They serve a life-saving role in the same way as banking curves on a freeway reduces automobile accidents. Once they're in place, they provide a huge benefit to the health of the entire community.
GAYSTAR NEWS - June 21 - Gay entrepreneur Coley Cummiskey launched men's dating app Growlr in 2010 in Columbus, Ohio. In March, it was revealed he'd sold it in a $12M deal to tech company, The Meet Group. The app says it has 10M members and ~200K daily users. Growlr is aimed very much at the 'bears' market – men who are bigger, hairer and heftier, plus their admirers. TMG is a publicly owned business headquartered in New Hope, Pennsylvania. TMG was founded in 2005 as MyYearbook, but has grown and changed its name in the intervening years. It was founded by current CEO, Geoff Cook with his siblings, Catherine and Dave Cook, and specializes in dating apps. Its other brands include MeetMe, LOVOO, Skout and Tagged. They launched live streaming on MeetMe in April 2017, and have now embedded it into LOVOO, Tagged and Skout. "What we saw with Growlr was a very active, and a pretty sizeable community sending many millions of messages every single day. We saw the potential to roll out live streaming video into that community," said Mr Cook. One thing that won't change is the app's focus. The team realize that's its strength. Growlr does have a very distinct sense of community. Its users are very loyal and very engaged.
PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL - Mar 21 - The Meet Group has built its portfolio of five dating apps through acquisitions, with the $11.8M deal to buy niche gay dating app Growlr being the most recent. Historically, the company has looked for apps that either expand into a segment of users it hasn't reached before or a new geographic area, like Growlr with the gay community and Lovoo with its European foothold. Integrating video has been a top priority. They like to see a lot of one-to-one chat messages and relatively high DAU. Meet's new video revenue stems from in-app purchases users make to buy and give "gifts" like a virtual race car, and when a popular livestreamer acquires the equivalent of ~$200 worth, they can redeem for cash. Apple and Google get a 30% cut of revenue stemming from in-app purchases, the livestreamer gets 35% and Meet pockets the other 35%. Cook expects video revenue to double in 2019 and double again by 2021.
DAILYMAIL.CO.UK - Mar 15 - Growlr, Smell Dating and Unveil are generating successful matches in unique ways - including asking users to talk to each other before seeing their photos and matching people based on celebrities they like.
OUT.COM - Mar 12 - After being founded in 2010 by Coley Cummiskey and becoming a "by bears, for bears" social media app, Growlr is now part of The Meet Group. Its new owners already have big plans for the platform, namely introducing livestreaming by the end of the year. The Meet Group plans to invest in marketing and grow the team (it had before just been Cummiskey and his husband Frank Rollins). Growlr is The Meet Group's fourth purchase in three years. Cummiskey and his husband will stay on with Growlr for at least a year, as per their contracts.
PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL - Mar 8 - The Meet Group acquired gay dating app Growlr for $11.8M this week. Growlr will join Meet's existing portfolio of MeetMe, Skout, Tagged and Lovoo. Meet announced the Growlr acquisition ahead of its Q4 and full year 2018 earnings call, when it saw $178.6M in total revenue, a 44% jump from 2017. Meet's been in talks with Growlr for more than a year, and Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group, said the acquisition is part of its goal to expand into different audiences it doesn't already serve. The app, which counts ~200K global daily active users, came at a good value, he added, and once Meet integrates its live video features into Growlr, he believes it will be the first gay dating app in the country to do so and growth should follow. Growlr has just two employees who will join Meet.
BUSINESSWIRE - Mar 6 - For Q4 2018 revenue was $52.5M, up 31% YOY. GAAP net income was $4.3M, compared to a net loss of $68.1M the prior year Q4. The prior year Q4 included a non-cash asset impairment charge of $56.4M and a deferred tax charge of $7.7M. Adjusted EBITDA was $10.6M, compared to $10.5M in the prior Q4. In 2018 revenue was $178.6M, up from $123.8M in 2017. "In addition to reporting a strong quarter, I'm excited to announce the acquisition of Growlr, which provides a meaningful step into the large same-sex dating market and expands the base of users to whom we can deliver our live video product," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. "Video transformed our business in 2018," continued Cook. "Our goal is to build the best place to meet new people through video. We increased the average monetization per daily active video user to 18c, up from 14c in the Q3, 2018." The Meet Group acquired Growlr for $11.8M, using $4.8M in cash and $7M from its existing line of credit, plus an earnout of $2M to be paid in annual $1M installments over the next two years if certain revenue metrics are achieved in each year. The Growlr app has ~200K global DAU, who exchange millions of messages each day.
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BETABLOG - July 7 - Building Healthy Online Communities (BHOC), a coalition of SF AIDS Foundation and other leading HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention organizations, recently launched a new website with the goal of improving the health and experience of gay men on hookup apps like Grindr, Scruff, Adam4Adam, Growlr and Daddyhunt. The site offers HIV and STI educators tips and information on how to reach app users with good sexual health information. The BHOC team recently partnered with the dating site Daddyhunt to produce a series of web videos and public service announcements featuring storylines about PrEP, STIs and HIV treatment. The series won "Best LGBTQ Film" at the Top Shorts Online Film Festival 2017.