OPW INTERVIEW - Mar 16 - Daniel Haigh (Dir. Product RSVP/Oasis since 2014) and Dave Heysen (CEO of RSVP/Oasis since 2014) created Oasis, which was bought by RSVP in 2014, the original Internet dating service at scale, in Australia. RSVP was bought by Fairfax Media in 2005, which itself was bought by Nine. Now Daniel and Dave are acquiring RSVP and will run it, along with Helium Dating, and launch a new app. I asked Daniel and Dave about their plans. - Mark Brooks
Why did you buy RSVP back?
Fairfax Media was acquired by Nine Entertainment in 2018, and as a result Nine became the major shareholder of RSVP. Since this transaction we recognised that RSVP would be better placed as an independent business and we (Dave & Daniel) are excited to have had the opportunity to complete a company buyback in January 2021. However, our relationship with Nine is still strong and we have an ongoing multimillion dollar media spend agreement in place over the next 3 years. The majority of this advertising will be for ongoing marketing of RSVP in Australia.
What will you do with RSVP next?
Although RSVP has certainly been affected by overseas competition, we are very confident about the future, and have a strong position in the Australia market. Our current focus is improving the services provided by RSVP. We genuinely want to help our customers find a lifelong partner, and will always refine our online dating platform while providing a high level of customer care. We are also completing the development of a brand new native app which we are super excited about.
How about Oasis?
Sadly we decided to close down our Oasis.com / Amorenlinea.com brands in December 2020. We had some serious backlash (to put it mildly) from our members upon announcing this decision as Oasis had a very strong following throughout Australia, UK and South/Central America. The service was no longer viable. Oasis was a free site and advertising revenue has been steadily declining year after year, while the technology platform was becoming more expensive to maintain.
You launched a new app recently. Can you tell us more about it?
We soft launched a new online dating app called Helium at the end of 2020. Although we are still rapidly developing the app we are excited about initial numbers with almost 200,000 users having signed up to the service. Features include direct contact (none of this swiping or liking stuff), fully featured (and encrypted) messaging platform, mini-video calling, 'Really Me' verification and so much more! Helium is available worldwide in all English and Spanish Latin American markets. See https://www.heliumdating.com.
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