WASHINGTON POST - June 29 - A new study presented to the Council on Contemporary Families and published in the American Sociological Review suggests that online daters aren’t always attracted to people who look like themselves. In some instances, multiracial daters are getting a lot of right swipes. Asian-white women get the most attention. Hispanic women preferred men who identified as Hispanic-white above all else. Hispanic men were less selective. Among all groups, men didn’t play racial favorites as much as women did. Except when it comes to black women, who were responded to the least. Biracial profiles without any photos performed about as well as those profiles with photos.
WEBWIRE - July 1 - Nominations for the next iDate Awards are now being accepted until October 31. There is no cost to participate and self-nominations are accepted. You can nominate in these categories:
Best Dating Site
Best Dating Software & SAAS Provider
Best Mobile Dating App
Best Product Design
Best Dating Coach
Most Innovative Company
Best New Technology
Best Payment System
Best Affiliate Program
Best Marketing Campaign
Best Niche Dating Site
Best Up and Coming Dating Site
The awards have the following schedule:
Now to October 31 - Nominations Accepted
November 10 to Jan. 5, 2016 - Voting
Jan 26, 2016 - Awards ceremony and winners announced
GLOBAL NEWS - July 1 - Madonna's latest album was advertised on Grindr, while Jason Derulo looked to Tinder to debut a music video. Carey launched a profile on Match.com to premiere her music video for the single, "Infinity," and last week DJ-producer Afrojack took over Match's Twitter account for eight hours to answer questions about love and relationships while promoting his new single, "SummerThing!". PlentyofFish also worked with Derulo when the website appeared in the music video for his song "Ridin Solo" in 2010. POF also appeared in Britney Spears, Flo Rida and Kesha’s videos.
ADVOCATE - June 29 - OkCupid launched a new website called Identity, a project that seeks to expand the conversation about sexual orientations and gender identities. The new site allows anyone, whether a regular OkCupid user or not, to share and contribute their own gender identity stories through a simple questionnaire. Identity also acts as a one-stop resource for various definitions of different sexual identities to be viewed. Currently, definitions of 13 gender identities, including transgender, cisgender, agender, androgynous, etc., and 22 orientations — gay, lesbian, bisexual, demisexual, etc. — are available on the site.
SEEKING ALPHA - June 26 - Spark Networks had been suffering significant losses until mid 2014 when new management came in. Their first action was to cut the marketing spent on ChristianMingle. Almost immediately, the company became profitable, but this strategy is unsustainable. A prolonged period of subscriber attrition can be devastating. However, temporarily propping up the company has given new management time to implement its plan to reinvigorate Spark without having to worry about cash. The plan is simple: upgrade technology and begin redeploying ads dollars for ChristianMingle in a more intelligent manner. ChristianMingle looks to be partnering with mega churches and Christian organizations. CEO Michael Egan also noted that customers who were surveyed mentioned that there was a distinct lack of humor in any of the company's ads.
WANTCHINATIMES - June 26 - Momo, a Chinese dating app, has decided to delist from NASDAQ, just after half a year of trading on the marketplace. This comes despite the fact it will waste its investments in the share listing, including $110M of tangible cost. The cost includes $17.4M of commission paid to underwriters and $4.3M in consulting fees, not to mention the annual fee charged by NASDAQ which amounts to $1.61-1.76M a year, compared with the $308.4M in fresh fund it raised from its IPO. "We intend to keep Momo as a startup, rather than a public company," said Tang Yian, founder and CEO of Momo, adding that going public would hamper the company's capability to take risks for new ventures.
HUFFINGTON POST - June 26 - In the past, gay men had few options for meeting, hooking up and dating. Now, in 2015, they've got Grindr, Growlr, A4A, Scruff, Manhunt and others. Some guys are turning away from modern technology and going old-school, opting for a traditional matchmaker. One such intermediary is He's For Me, a Texas-based gay matchmaking service founded by Tammy Shaklee, a straight woman who met her husband through a similar company. She was shocked to learn that the matchmaker she used didn't serve gay men. To fill the void, she started H4M. H4M conducts lengthy interviews with clients, offers coaching on how to date, and sets up initial matches, along with second dates.
BLOOMBERG - June 26 - IAC’s Match Group plans to to sell ~20% of its common stock this year. The sale could fetch $600M to $1.2B if 10% - 20% of the business is sold to the public, according to Cowen and Co., valuing the division at $6B or more. IAC bought Match.com in 2003. Meetic joined in 2009 along with People Media. In 2011, IAC spent $50M for OKCupid. In 2012 came Tinder which "gamified" the online dating process. "There’s a lot of people that just weren’t prepared to get onto Internet dating," says Mark Brooks, a dating-website analyst and consultant at Courtland Brooks. "Tinder warmed people up to the psychology that it’s not a dating site. Everybody is on it; it’s fun. That’s really the thrill ride here." But free and fun dating apps can be volatile, while cannibalizing customers from such paid services as Match.com, Brooks says. Last year, as the popularity of free-to-use Tinder grew, paid subscriptions at Match fell by ~100K in the Q4, compared with Q3. Now IAC is trying to make money out of Tinder.
OPW - June 28 - Every so often we find interesting sites for sale. Senior-dating.org looks interesting. The site was started 8 years ago and has a decent SEO rank. i.e. for 'senior dating.' The site provides seniors with a broad range of useful information which helps prepare them to get the most from their senior dating experience. A small revenue stream has been generated by commissions from Google Ads and click-throughs. The site owner, Kathy Damer, has an extensive background in the senior care industry and would be happy to continue contributing to the site under the direction of a new owner. If you like the senior dating segment, this site is worth a look-in. You can contact Kathy at email@example.com.
WSJ - June 25 - IAC/InterActiveCorp has followed through on a long-expected plan to pursue an IPO of Match Group. Mr. Diller, IAC’s chairman, isn’t breaking up with Match Group entirely. The company is planning to sell a stake of less than 20% in the division, which includes fitness and educational businesses. Investors cheered the move, sending IAC’s shares up $3.93, or 5.1%, to $81.19. Match Group is IAC’s strongest growth engine, bringing in 29% of overall revenue in 2014. For all the buzz around dating sites, there hasn’t yet been a significant win for VCs in terms of an IPO, said Mark Brooks, CEO of Courtland Brooks, an adviser to dating companies. That’s been a challenge for entrepreneurs. "We need a success story, and I think the Match Group could be a success story," he said. If the IPO doesn’t go over well with investors, "we can kiss the opportunity of future funding goodbye."
PR NEWSWIRE - June 25 - IAC's Board of Directors has approved the pursuit of an IPO of Match Group. Joey Levin, formerly CEO of its Search & Apps business, has been named CEO of IAC and joined its Board of Directors. Greg Blatt will remain Chairman, and Sam Yagan CEO of The Match Group. IAC expects The Match Group to issue less than 20% of its common stock in the IPO, with IAC's remaining stake in The Match Group represented by both high- and low-vote common shares. The IPO is expected to be completed during Q4 of this year.
SCMP - June 24 - The consortium that offered to take Momo private is “taking advantage of its position to purchase the company at an unfair price”, according to American law firm Levi & Korsinsky. The consortium includes Momo CEO and co-founder Tang Yan, as well as investors such as Sequoia Capital China and Matrix Partners China. It holds ~48% of outstanding shares, and 84% of the voting power. Momo’s shares closed at a high of $19.11 on May 27. But in the non-binding preliminary proposal, the consortium offered $18.90 per share. If successful, the deal would be valued at $1.9B.
NY POST - June 23 - The League dating app came to New York last month. The app's founder Amanda Bradford has received 30K requests to join. Only 7K have been accepted so far. 37% of New York Leaguers have graduate degrees, 13% are CEOs or founders, and 56% have attended “highly selective” schools. Singles can be referred by current users, which bumps them to the top of the wait list and increases their chance of admittance. Women must be 22-36; men 24-40.
TELEGRAPH.CO.UK - June 23 - "Binder" allows users to enter a partner's gender, name and number and then swipe right to "bin" them. Within seconds, the unlucky soon-to-be ex then receives a text message and short pre-recorded phone call with the reason for breaking up.
ECONOMIC TIMES - June 22 - When Google was looking for investors in 1998, it was Dr. David Cheriton who wrote the first check. Today, the billionaire and Stanford University Computer Science professor invested in Banihal, an Indian matchmaking service. Banihal is in the early stages of startup in the company's first market, India.
EJINSIGHT - June 22 - Dating app Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) launched in Hong Kong, the app's first stop in overseas expansion, three months ago. Since then, CMB attracted 100K users, and is in the top 10 in Apple's App Store. Co-founder Dawoon Kang said the app has huge potential given ~2M Hong Kong FB users age 21-35 are single and they have 768 friends on average. To become a CMB member, a user has to register through Facebook. The app will then analyze the user’s friend group. Every day around noon, CMB randomly picks one of the matches and sends it to members who can then access the personal info of the recommended person for 24 hours. In that time, they can decide to proceed or pass. After Hong Kong, Toronto will be its next stop.
FORTUNE - June 22 - After hearing negative comments about pregnant founders, Talia Goldstein, CEO of Three Day Rule, says she felt that the only way to raise money was to hide her pregnancy. During this time, a well-known LA investor wrote a blog post about his struggle over whether or not invest in a company run by a pregnant CEO, which included the chilling line: “A pregnant CEO is going to fail her company.” (Ultimately, he did invest.) In April 2014, Three Day Rule raised a Series A from IAC/Match. Since then, they’ve launched in six cities. "The difficulty I faced while fundraising as a pregnant woman is only one example of the prejudice against mothers that remains pervasive in startup culture. Now, as I begin another round of fundraising while pregnant again, I am determined to take a stand", she said.