PRESS RELEASE - Mar 28 - Last month, WhiteLabelDating.com (WLD) announced their long-term incentive plan for new partners and affiliates, offering 100% net revenue share for 12 months, then up to 80% net revenue share for life when partners and affiliates move their site from another dating platform to WLD. Since the offer, WLD has signed up 100 new partners and launched ~150 new sites across both their Mainstream and Casual networks. Launched in 2003, White Label Dating is a software as a service business that empowers brands, marketers and affiliates to power their own branded online dating sites.
OPW INTERVIEW - Mar 1 - We noticed some pretty attractive commissions with White Label Dating (WLD) recently. I interviewed Ross Williams, the CEO to find out how WLD is doing and ask some tough questions.
How can you afford to give 100% commission?
We're offering 100% net revenue share after payment processing (which varies by network) which covers the cost of taking payment but other than that partners will receive all revenue generated for a period of at least 12 months then up to 80% net revenue share. We can afford this after streamlining our business last year and simplifying many backend operations. Our platform is known to be the best converting and best LTV in the English-speaking markets we operate in.
In what niches do you feel White Label Dating performs the best for affiliates?
Our best performing networks are mainstream, casual and mature - we don't go into very specific niches as we don't need to - the platform performs well on these broader networks.
What is the commission structure and conditions for the ongoing 80% commission?
Partners will continue to earn 80% commission for life as long as they grow their daily initial revenue by just 2% per month.
In what geographic areas are you strongest for conversions for affiliates?
UK, Australia, Canada and the USA are the key markets most affiliates focus on. We don't yet support non-English speaking geos but will be making an announcement on that subject later in 2019.
How are white label dating sites being served up on mobile phones now?
70% of our traffic is from mobiles and the experience is great. All sites offer a mobile-optimised experience and our partners focus heavily on mobile traffic. We don't run apps because the share needed with Apple makes this prohibitive - however we will be making a wider announcement on this subject later this year.
Can you provide apps for super-affiliates?
Super affiliates shouldn't be promoting apps as there is far less margin than promoting mobile websites - our partners are still able to promote sites charging £30/month and with our 100% net revenue share they get to keep all of that after processing fees.
What's your plans for 2019 for WLD & Venntro?
Well firstly with two kids under 20 months I'm planning a holiday at some point as I'm sure you can relate to Mark :) After a process of streamlining in 2018 we now have phenomenal capacity to grow - we've dealt with a lot of legacy issues in the business and are primed for growth again. We've consistently delivered below 1% chargeback rate. In 2019 we are deploying AI across the business to enable us to serve members faster and improve metrics for partners. It allows us to grow without needing to add lots of people.
PRESS RELEASE - July 3 - Venntro Media Group's WhiteLabelDating.com anti-scammer technology now checks all members against known scammers reported by Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau which is run by the City of London Police (the national lead force for fraud).
GOV.CO.UK - June 13 - Venntro Media Group, which has ~55M users worldwide and supplies online dating services through ~3.5K sites, has been investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over how it used people's personal data. Venntro operates dating sites on behalf of major media outlets and other organisations, including both general and niche sites. The CMA discovered that people who signed up to Venntro's sites were often unaware their information would be stored in a central database and that their profiles might be visible on other dating sites. Some people signed up for sites featuring explicit adult content without realising that they were doing so. As a result of the CMA's investigation, Venntro has made legally binding commitments to make it clear to people before they sign up that it will share their information on other sites and obtain their full agreement to do this. In addition to this action against Venntro, the CMA has sent warning letters to 14 other dating sites and apps demanding they review their terms and practices to ensure they are fair and comply with consumer protection law. Together with the UK's privacy regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the CMA has published advice for online dating businesses to explain how to fully comply with both consumer and data protection laws.
OPW - Apr 5 - According to Linkedin Match.com is showing no growth over the last two years, with 598 employees. Tinder is the big growth story with 320 employees and 116% growth over the last 2 years. PlentyofFish is also broken out from Match, and is up 15% over the last 2 years with 94 employees. Meanwhile, OKCupid are have been quite stable at 64 employees.
Zoosk is stable at 170 employees. They dipped to 158 employees but actually show 1% employee growth over the past 2 years.
eHarmony has leveled off to 239 employees in the last 6 months but is down 27% over the last 2 years.
PRESS RELEASE - Oct 6 - As well as driving traffic to White Label Dating's offers, reporo will also be using their affiliate network to advertise the company's offers. Reporo primarily converts traffic for products such as Gaming, Betting and Adult Dating and works on CPC, CPM and CPA basis.
INSIDER MEDIA - June 19 - Venntro Media Group is the company behind White Label Dating platform, which powers ~10k websites and allows brands and individuals to launch their own fully-branded online dating sites. The company posted a pre-tax loss of ~£1M for the financial year to 31 August 2016, down compared with a profit of £937,241 a year earlier. Turnover fell from £35.2M to £30.2M. The group said the 12-month period was a transitional one.
OPW - July 12 - The mobile-focused division houses Smooch.com, Jiko and Revelar. EBITDA growth can be attributed to the successful transition of the Smooch.com product from a free online dating brand to a paid, but low-cost, site. The site has achieved YOY growth of 44.2%, accompanied by the implementation of cost saving efficiencies which led to a reduction in total operating costs of 52%. In addition, conversion rates on the site have increased 63% year on year. Jiko has also seen significant growth since its official launch in Feb '16, achieving +1M swipes just two months after its official launch.
INSIDERMEDIA - June 10 - Annual revenues have plummeted by ~£10m at Venntro Media Group, the umbrella company behind Global Personals and the White Label Dating. Venntro reported turnover of £35.2M for the year ended 31 August 2015, a significant drop from £44.3M a year earlier. Former CEO (now Chairman), Ross Williams, said the online dating industry experienced "a number of seismic shifts" during the 12-month period that left "even the most well established companies facing major challenges".
EXPRESS.CO.UK - Jan 29 - Venntro Media is expanding its dating site/apps portfolio with a new dating service for people who are looking for a serious relationship - SomethingSerious.com.
by Maisha Frost
See full article at Express.co.uk
STANDARD.CO.UK - Jan 11 - "The busiest time of the year is from Dec until the end of Feb," says Ross Williams, CEO of Venntro. The 12-year-old firm was founded by Williams (73% shareholder) and Steve Pammenter (who has a 22% stake). As well as having its own dating sites, Venntro allows partners to power their sites through its systems for a cut of the subscription revenue. Venntro launched an incubator last year to work with tech start-ups. In return for an equity stake, Venntro is offering access to its database, office space, advice and investment.
REALBUSINESS.CO.UK - The final episode of The Apprentice 2015, series in which candidates compete to go into business with multi-millionaire Lord Sugar, aired on Dec 20th. Alan Sugar appointed eHarmony MD UK Romain Bertrand, Match.com MD UK Karl Gregory and Venntro Media CEO Ross Williams as his online dating advisors. Vana Koutsomitis, founder of dating app DatePlay, competed against plumbing business owners Joseph Valente. She lost. Ross Williams supported Sugar's choice. Here is why: £250K is barely enough to develop and refine an online dating app in such a competitive market. The DatePlay concept is excellent but as an investment DatePlay was too high risk compared to Joseph's plumbing business. Romain Bertrand thinks it's possible to launch a first version of the app and operate it without heavy marketing for under £250K. But you continuously need to invest in making your product the best it can be.
by Ross Williams & Romain Bertrand
See full article at RealBusiness.co.uk
TECH CRUNCH - Nov 12 - The newly-launched Venntro Ventures incubator plans to invest in and incubate tech startups in both the U.K. and U.S. who operate in the online dating and lifestyle spaces. Venntro will provide startups who are accepted onto the programme with expertise and advice, office space, capital and, most strategically, access to its member portfolio. In return, Venntro will take a stake of ~40% in the startups it invests in.
LONDONLOVESBUSINESS - Sep 23 - Ross Williams is the CEO of Venntro Media Group, a parent company of WhiteLabelDating.com. The company claims 1700 partners, 25K sites and 45M members worldwide.
Q: How big is the market?
A: The UK online dating market is valued at £165M and is expected to grow to £225M by 2019. A third of adults in the UK use a site powered by us.
Q: How do you make money?
A: Our largest revenue-generating product is White Label Dating. We operate on a revenue sharing model so we only make money if our partners do.
Q: Who’s bankrolling you?
A: Venntro is completely privately owned. Steve Pammenter and I founded the business in 2003, juggling a dozen credit cards and paying them off each month.
Q: What advice would you give other entrepreneurs trying to secure that kind of finance?
A: Juggling credit cards is a gamble. You need to be confident that the business model is going to work. It’s very hard to monetise a product if you haven’t thought about revenue generation from the off.
Q: What do you believe the key to growing this business is?
A: Move with the market. It is a constantly developing market – if you stop innovating you could end up with getting left behind.
Q: What metrics do you look at every day?
A: Revenue per customer and customer engagement.
Q: What’s been the most unexpectedly valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far?
A: Ensure that you have multiple levels of redundancy in all areas of the business.
Q: What’s been your biggest mistake so far?
A: In 2014, our payment processing provider made the decision to exit the dating market, giving us 60 days notice to find a new solution. We didn’t have any redundancy. We worked around the clock to resolve the issue but it was touch and go. We now have four payment providers in place.
Q: Which London startup/s are you watching?
A: I love what HER are doing at the moment. Clocked.co have also a unique product and have built a great team. The Inner Circle have a great marketing strategy, with a lot of headline grabbing campaigns.
PRESS RELEASE - Aug 20 - Venntro, parent company of WhiteLabelDating.com, has acquired voice-dating app Revelar for an undisclosed sum. Revealr app uses voice recording technology to connect people by their voice. If users like what they hear after listening to a 20s audio, the other user's profile is revealed. Venntro plans to take advantage of the existing technology and monetize its user base better.
This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.
CITYAM - Aug 17 - Ross Williams is getting married next week. He and his fiancée met on an online dating site. Back in 2003, Williams founded Global Personals with business partner Steve Pammenter. They developed the concept for "White Label Dating". Between 2007-2011 Global Personals turnover went from £3m to £30m. This year, Global Personals rebranded and became Venntro Ventures. "It's an incubator, really," he explains. "We want to invest in startups that want to scale, and that have a digital product which will improve people's lives." Alongside this, Williams is on the hunt for investment himself, to help Venntro scale even further.
by Harriet Green
See full article at CityAM
WLD - July 21 - Brands under the umbrella of the Venntro Group now include White Label Dating, Global Personals, WooWise, Jiko and more. The only visible change partners will notice is that payments will now show on their bank statement as Venntro Media Group.
FINANCIAL MAIL - June 14 - Dating entrepreneur Ross Williams has pocketed a £725K share of the payout, which was a fall from the previous year’s dividend of £2.5M. His company Global Personals, which last month changed its name to Venntro Media Group, increased its turnover by £2M to £44.3M for the year to August 31, 2014 but pre-tax profits fell from £4.1M to £2.3M.