PR NEWSWIRE - Oct 2 - Jewish dating app JSwipe has released its first report on Jewish singles and Millennials. The full report is available here. ~80% of respondents say it's important to date or marry someone Jewish. 54% says their family would react negatively if they married someone who wasn't Jewish, while 40% say their families would be neutral, 47% would ask someone to convert for them if it got serious.
THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS - July 30 - JSwipe is a Tinder-like app for Jews.
Q: What have you learned since you founded JSwipe in 2014?
A: I have developed a much deeper understanding of the millennial Jewish experience. They are the least traditionally religious generation in recent history. What I've learned is that there’s a disconnect between them and what I call "Big Jewish", the governing bodies of the Jewish world, which are run primarily by our grandparents' and parents' generations.
Q: What is the disconnect between Big Jewish and millennial Jews?
A: I believe it's because Big Jewish is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into what's essentially the Jewish Oldsmobile, to try to push it forward and appeal to us, while Jewish millennials want the Jewish Tesla.
Q: What are some characteristics that might define Jewish Tesla?
A: My core struggle is a question that I was only recently able to express: what is the role of particularism in universalism? I went to Jewish day school, shul every Friday night, Shabbat, kosher, the whole shebang. I went on Birthright, I learned in Israel, I did all those things. It's important for me to be Jewish, but also important to be part of the broader society as a whole, and I’m not always sure how to balance those things.
NY POST - June 18 - Marc Guss has recently offered a $10K reward to whoever can find his mother a match. He is now teaming up with David Yarus, the founder of Jewish dating app JSwipe to help her find the perfect mate. David Yarus plans to blast out the bid to over a million JSwipe and JDate users through pop-up notifications, banners and emails about Guss' proposal. "The goal is for users to help surface either family members, colleagues and friends for ideas for dates," says Yarus.
REFINERY29 - May 13 - For some, it's a numbers game: online dating can be a slog, and joining more than one service increases the pool of perspective matches. "For some reason, a lot of men want Jewish girlfriends," says Toni, a Jewish user, of a trend she's noticed in her own circles since she was in college. "I think it had something to do with sex. Supposedly Jewish women are better sexual partners." Maria Avgitidis, founder and CEO of Agape Match in New York City, remembers a client who said "she only wanted Jewish men because they're really great providers." It's generally a good PR move for any company to land on the side of inclusivity when it comes to religion or ethnicity. Also, allowing non-niche users to join a niche dating site, especially when the niche itself comprises a tiny margin of the larger population, can make a site more profitable. "I think it's beautiful," says David Yarus, founder of JSwipe and Global Ambassador for JDate, of non-Jewish users looking for love on his platforms. "Ultimately, we have been very intentional in fostering more refined, digital dating within the Jewish community or for those who celebrate the Jewish culture. But it's so important that we recognize and honor the universality of the world."
VOGUE - Feb 12 - In an increasingly crowded market, a new generation of niche apps are going a step further by homing in on specific requirements that narrow down the dating pool drastically. "I've found that people from similar backgrounds tend to stick together," says Lydia Davis, founder of Toffee, the world's first dating app for the privately educated. Davis set up Toffee in 2018 with the aim of connecting people on the posher end of the spectrum. In nine months, the app has gained 25K subscribers in the UK and there are plans to expand into new markets including Australia, India and Nigeria. "In the UK, 8% of people are privately educated but in Australia that number is 35%. In India, it's 38%. The Inner Circle, an exclusive dating app launched in Amsterdam in 2012, is now active in 30 cities and has 1.4M members. Users are screened using their Facebook and LinkedIn before being allowed to join, though the required criteria remains a closely guarded secret. Not so with Luxy, a dating app for the super-rich where users are encouraged to verify their income by submitting their tax returns. Location and lifestyle are also important factors for niche dating platforms. In 2006, sisters Lucy Reeves and Emma Royall set up Muddy Matches, a dating site for "country-minded people". In fact, there's a dating app for everyone. Twindog is for dog lovers, Bristlr is for those with facial hair, Gluten Free Singles, JSwipe, Hater, a dating app that determines compatibility based on the things people hate, Donald Daters, etc.
PR NEWSWIRE - Aug 30 - For the six months ended June 30, 2018, total revenue was €53M, an increase of ~26% YOY. The growth was attributable to the 34% increase in the number of average paying subscribers. Spark contributed 91.3% of the YOY revenue increase through the addition of Jdate, JSwipe and Christian Mingle following the close of the Affinitas / Spark Merger in Nov 2017. "Our growth strategy remains focused on EliteSingles, Jdate, JSwipe and Christian Mingle, and the recently launched SilverSingles brand," said Jeronimo Folgueira, CEO of Spark Networks SE. Net Loss was €(1.1)M, a €557K reduction compared to the H1 2017.
FORWARD.COM - Oct 7 - David Yarus, 30, and his three co-founders launched JSwipe during Passover 2014 to capitalize on the extra downtime people had while home for the holiday. It seems to have worked. The app boasts 800K users worldwide. JSwipe is now officially part of Spark Networks. While prior to the merger Yarus called JDate an "outdated organization" with "an outdated business model," he and his team seem to have fully embraced the challenge of bringing it up to speed.
SPARK.NET - Aug 10 - Spark Networks has entered into an agreement with PEAK6 Investments which saw a significant potential in Spark's Jewish and Christian brands. PEAK6 purchased 5M shares for $7.8M and owns now 16% of Spark's outstanding shares. PEAK6 executive Danny Rosenthal will become CEO and will join the board of Directors. PEAK6 Chief Architect David Budworth will become CTO, PEAK6 CMO Lisa McLafferty will become Chief Revenue Officer. PEAK6 President Brad Goldberg will join the Board of Directors.
Spark's Q2 Revenue was $9.1M, down 26% YOY. Net income was $329k, an YOY increase of $424k and a $3.7M increase from the prior quarter. Returns on direct marketing spend have improved. Every dollar in direct marketing spent has resulted in ~$5 in revenue in the Christian network segment (compared to $1.3 in Q2 2014). In the last few months, JSwipe began selling paid subscriptions which now represent 3% of total Jewish network's paid subscriber base.
This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.
MARKETWIRED - July 15 - New features include: Boost (profile shown 2x more often), Optimize (a photo review), Passport (ability to change search location), and Super Swipes. The upgrade is available on both IOS and Android mobile platforms for only $18/month.
MARKETWIRED - Mar 3 - Q4 '15 revenue was $10.7M, a YOY decrease of 25%, primarily driven by a decrease in average paying subscribers. Q4 '15 adjusted EBITDA was $116K, a decrease from $4.1M in the year ago period and $309K in the prior quarter. For the full year 2015, total revenue was $48.1M, a YOY decrease of 22%. In 2015 Spark Networks strenghtened mobile portfolio and extended reach into millennial demo through acquisition of JSwipe for $6M and launch of dating app CrossPaths.
OPW - Feb 5 - Last year was a turnaround for Spark Networks. Four directors were voted out and new board came in. Michael Egan joined in as CEO in December 2014 from Internet Brands. Since the company had no proper mobile product, a lot of effort in 2015 was put into building a mobile dating app. They launched dating app Spark, which was an experiment, and later Crosspaths, a Tinder-like dating app within the Christian community, that has now ~20K monthly active users in LA.
Michael Egan also talked about JSwipe acquisition. Last summer Spark Networks sued Jewish dating app JSwipe but soon realized that JSwipe user base was very complementary to jDate (90% of JSwipe users are under 30, jDate users are 35+), and decided to buy it instead for $7M.
SEEKING ALPHA - Dec 14 - Spark Networks paid $7M for a Jewish dating app JSwipe to boost its younger demographic in the Jewish Networks segment. JSwipe has ~450K users. Spark Networks pursued a patent infringement claim against then-competitor JSwipe in 2014. What started as a lawsuit ultimately ended in a key acquisition for Spark Networks.
This post also appear on InternetDatingInvestments.
WASHINGTON POST - Nov 28 - Hinge is the latest dating app to add time limits; after a match, users have 24h to start a conversation or the match disappears. If they start chatting, they have 14 days before their conversation vanishes. Bumble also puts a 24h limit on matches; JSwipe matches disappear after 18 days if no one says hello. "Time limits give users that extra momentum to meet up in person," thinks Eli Finkel, a social psychologist. Hinge saw a 70% increase in chats started, and a 50% in how often matches exchanged phone numbers.
MARKETWIRED - Nov 11 - Q3 revenue was $11.7M, a YOY decrease of 22%, and a 5% decrease from the prior quarter. The YOY decrease was primarily driven by a decrease in average paying subscribers. Direct marketing expenses were $4.4M, down 27% YOY. Net loss was $(822K). Subscribers grew 0.5%. In October, Spark Networks bought Smooch Labs, the developer of JSwipe, the popular Jewish millennial dating app. Spark Networks hopes to monetize the app soon.
The full article was originally published at Spark Networks website, but is no longer available.
QZ - Nov 3 - Today, Hinge announced that users will have 24 hours to begin a conversation with a match before they disappear forever. Hinge joins Bumble and JSwipe in putting users on a 24 hour deadline to communicate. Bumble boasts a 60% conversion rate of match-to-communication, and Hinge reports that the share of matches that resulted in conversations increased by 50% when they ran a beta version of the new deadline for a week.
MARKETWIRED - Oct 14 - Spark Networks, owner of JDate.com, is acquiring Smooch Labs, the owner of a millennial Jewish dating app - JSwipe. JSwipe now boasts ~450K downloads worldwide and ~40M messages between users. It plans to offer premium, paid features. The purchase price will be recorded in Spark's Q4 2015 financial statements. The founders of Smooch will join Spark Networks as a subsidiary of the company and will continue to play an active role in managing the JSwipe product.
This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.
OBSERVER - Aug 5 - David Yarus, founder of JSwipe, launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise $180K to protect itself against a suit by Spark Networks, the parent company of JDate. Supporters have committed $12K so far. JDate claims that JSwipe has violated its trademark, using the letter J. It also claims that JSwipe has violated its patent on an “apparatus for detection of reciprocal interests or feelings and subsequent notification.” JSwipe is a ten month-old startup, similar to Tinder. "Our case against JSwipe is about their theft of our technology and their brazen attempt to build a business on the back of JDate,” said Michael Egan, CEO of Spark Networks.
FORBES - July 24 - Spark Network's Jdate discreetly filed a lawsuit late last year against Jswipe, the Jewish ‘Tinder’, claiming intellectual property over the letter “J” within the Jewish dating scene. Jdate also claims it owns the patent on software that “confidentially determines matches and notifies users of mutual matches in feelings and interests.” Jswipe, like Tinder, notifies users when their romantic interest ‘swipes right’ on their picture, violating Jdate’s patent. It is not clear why Jdate only goes after Jswipe. There are other apps using "J" including Jcrush, Jwed, Jzoog. Spark Networks refused to comment.
THE DAILY BEAST - Mar 31 - Part of the appeal of online dating site and apps once was the privacy factor. But the more people use online dating sites and apps, the more likely we are to run into someone that we know. JSwipe allows users to turn off the ability to be seen or match with Facebook friends. OkCupid has a couple of features that will be rolled out in the next couple months. The first will allow a user to hide their profile from all users by default, and to only be seen by people they actively ‘Like’ or send a message to. The second will give the user an option of using a connected Facebook account to block any of their friends that are also on OkCupid.