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Mark Brooks
An authority on the business of internet dating
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BUSINESSWIRE - July 9 - The Meet Group,a leading provider of interactive dating solutions, announced the formation of its Safer Dating Advisory Board comprised of top epidemiologists and health experts to consult on dating products, provide safer dating guidance, as well as help shape the company's response to the novel coronavirus amid the ongoing pandemic. "I look forward to working with Doctors Hazra, Elfassy, and Sharp to pass on sound information to our millions of dating app users," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. See full article at Businesswire Register here for this IDEA webinar on Thursday 23rd July, at 11:30am EST. See the top news on The Meet Group Continue reading
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CHEDDAR - July 9 - "The goal of The Meet Group products is to make everyone the star of their own dating show." "The age of shallow swiping apps is kinda over and people are getting more and more demanding of video." "In the early days we advised people not to meet in person. Now it's uneven. Today we formed a safer dating board, to council us so we could provide good tips to our users. Scientifically sound tips." - Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group Extracted from video interview. See the top news on The Meet Group Continue reading
CNBC - July 9 - Gary Swidler, COO of Match Group, talks about the company's new video product, race filters and user engagement during the pandemic. See full article at CNBC See the top news on Match Group Continue reading
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REUTERS - July 9 - China's biggest gay dating app's owner BlueCity is focused on expanding in Asia, its founder said after it made its Nasdaq debut despite a U.S. securities regulator warning against investments in Chinese firms. BlueCity, which says its Blued app already has the largest market share in China, India, South Korea and Vietnam, raised $84.8M in an IPO which valued the Beijing-based company at $614M. Blued claims 49M registered users in 210 countries, and 6M monthly active users (MAUs), 49% of them outside China. by Colin Qian & Ryan Woo See full article at Reuters See the top news on Blued Continue reading
OPW - July 9 - Here's the video from the IDEA Webinar on June 24th. RealMe and Spectrum Labs executives explain three use-cases for how their new combined service, CheckPlus, improves your Internet dating service. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, romance scams were responsible for over $200 million in losses during 2019, up 19% from 2018. This unfortunate trend is showing no signs of slowing down, highlighting the critical need for increased vigilance from online dating service operators. RealMe and Spectrum Labs have partnered to develop CheckPlus, a comprehensive fraud-prevention service to increase safety and security for users. Neil Davis, Chief Business Officer of RealMe, and Lee Davis, Vice President of Spectrum Labs, discuss the application of CheckPlus using three case studies in the latest IDEA webinar, hosted by Mark Brooks. For more on RealMe, please visit www.realmehq.com/dating. For more on Spectrum Labs, please visit www.getspectrum.io. See full video transcript here. Continue reading
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TECH CRUNCH - July 7 - Tinder will begin to test video chat with some members in select worldwide markets, including in the U.S. The feature, which allows Tinder matches to go on "virtual" dates when both opt in, will first be available to users in Virginia, Illinois, Georgia and Colorado in the U.S., as well as in Brazil, Australia, Spain, Italy, France, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Peru and Chile. The new feature is simple to use. Once two people have matched and are chatting in the app, they can indicate they’re ready to move to a video session by tapping the new video icon. How exactly Tinder plans to properly moderate what appears to be a fantastic new solicitation platform remains less clear. by Sarah Perez See full article at Tech Crunch See the top news on Tinder Continue reading
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NY POST - July 7 - People who believe they have a "type" are fooling themselves, according to social psychology researchers who say that singles "might as well let a stranger pick their dates." This is because most people are looking for more general positive qualities in a love interest, such as "kind" and "intelligent" personalities, the researchers from University of California, Davis, write. by Hannah Sparks See full article at NY Post Continue reading
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PRESS.AT - July 7 - eharmony has seen its app registration figures increase by 85% YOY in the UK during lockdown – in the period between January and June 2020. Driving this increase has been the success of Video Date, which enabled singles to keep connecting romantically during lockdown and beyond. See full article at OneNewsPage See the top news on eharmony Continue reading
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STAR OBSERVER - July 7 - Last week, Chines gay dating app Blued revealed that it plans to raise ~$85M in an IPO of American Depositary Shares (ADS). The IPO scheduled to hit the market on Wednesday July 8 is planning to sell 5.3M ADS at a price of $15-$17 per ADS. The app claims ~49M registered users. For comparison, Grindr has ~27M users and Tinder ~57M users around the world. Blued said it was planning to use the IPO proceeds for geographic expansion, investment in technology and development, AI and big data capacity. by Shibu Thomas See full article at Star Observer See the top news on Blued This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments Continue reading
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PR NEWSWIRE - July 7 - MeetMe, Tagged, Skout, GROWLr and LOVOO users will receive a free 60-day subscription to UrSafe's premium safety Features. UrSafe is a hands-free, voice-activated personal safety app fully integrated with 911. See full article at PR Newswire See the top news on The Meet Group Continue reading
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REUTERS - July 7 - Grindr was approved for a $1M to $2M loan for small businesses suffering from the coronavirus outbreak. China's Beijing Kunlun Tech sold Grindr last month to an investor group called San Vicente Acquisition, after the U.S. government ordered the divestment amid concerns over the safety of personal data stored in the app. Grindr generated net profit of ~$31M in 2019, according to Kunlun's annual report. by Echo Wang See full article at Reuters See the top news on Grindr Continue reading
MUZMATCH - July 7 - Dating app Muzmatch has just crossed the 3M member mark. Founded by an ex-Morgan Stanley banker, the app caters to Muslims who are looking to find a partner to marry. See the top news on Muzmatch Continue reading
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REALITY TEA - July 7 - Dating app S'More has recently started a weekly show called S'More Live Happy Hour, which includes interviews with celebs and reality stars dishing on dating stories, playing hilarious games, and spilling some tea. Reality Tea will cover the recently published and upcoming episodes. So far, S'More has talked with Sutton Stracke from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Love is Blind cast member Kelly Chase, Summer House star Carl Radke, Below Deck alum Ashton Pienaar, Real Housewives of New York alum Barbara Kavovit, former RHOBH cast member Eden Sassoon, Big Brother alum Rachel Reilly, and more. See full article at Reality Tea See the top news on S'More Continue reading
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HEISE.DE - July 6 - The Federal Cartel Office, Germany's national competition regulator, has no objection to the takeover of The Meet Group the ProSiebenSat1's subsidiary Nucom Group, which already owns Parship, Elite Partner and eHarmony. by Volker Briegleb See full article at Heise.de See the top news on The Meet Group Continue reading
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MASHABLE - June 6 - In 2018, OkCupid rolled out a feature for users who identified as any gender other than a man or woman to choose their pronouns. Now, the dating app is opening that feature up to every user regardless of their gender. They're doing this in the hopes that it will normalize listing pronouns in users' profile and create a safer environment for OkCupid's trans and nonbinary users. by Anna Iovine See full article at Mashable See the top news on OkCupid Continue reading
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VATOR.TV - June 6 - The fund is part of investment firm SDVentures. Bill Alena is a Digital Media and Dating specialist with ~20 years of experience. For 11 years he served as The Meet Group's CRO where he joined pre-revenue and helped grow the business to ~$200M annually. Q: What is your investment philosophy or methodology? Bill Alena: First off, we're part of SDVentures, which is a larger company that really has two groups. We're the corporate VC arm, which is focused solely on dating. Dmitri Volkov, the founder of SDVentures, as well as Dating Group, started this fund to help fund people and also to spur the industry. He wanted to give the industry more energy and more competitors. It's a $50M fund, and we're doing seed, Series As and and, potentially, Bs. Q: What's the opportunity you see in the dating space right now? Why is it exciting? A: Video is hot now. Everything that's been coming up slowly is going to be super hyper sped. Q: How many investments do you plan to make in a year going forward? A: I don't want to put any numbers on it right now. Q: How much do you... Continue reading
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JPOST - July 6 - The campaign will use Idan Barzilay's artwork to create colorful animations that in turn will help bring people with similar opinions or beliefs together, in an artistic way. The campaign, called "Ask Yourself," will highlight important dating issues for Israelis. Barzilay said: "I hope my art for the campaign conveys to all Israeli daters that it's ok to be yourself, with flaws and quirks, and find a match." by Tobias Siegal See full article at JPost See the top news on OkCupid Continue reading
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OPW - July 7 - Join us for another all-star IDEA webinar this Friday 10th July, at 11:30am EST. The CEOs of The Meet Group, URSafe, RealMe and Spectrum Labs will discuss tips for enhancing your dating app, and helping our users to meet new people safely. We will also discuss how the pandemic may have changed dating forever as millions continue to flock to dating apps to make connections via video and live chat. Get your safety game on with this special panel, hosted by the Internet Dating Excellence Association. PANELISTS ~ Geoff Cook, CEO, The Meet Group ~ Anthony Oyogoa, CEO, The UrSafe App ~ Jeff Tinsley, CEO, RealMe ~ Justin Davis, CEO, Spectrum Labs HOST ~ Mark Brooks, President IDEA.gp & CEO Courtland Brooks A 45 minute panel. Sign up here to reserve your place on the webinar. Continue reading
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QUEERTY - July 3 - Last week, Grindr announced it was finally ditching its "ethnicity filter" after dragging its feet for over a decade. But as it turns out, removing the filter has actually created a new set of problems. Gay Black writer Otamere Guobadia explains how some BIPOC users actually used the filter to escape the overwhelming sea of white profiles. Guobadia argues that many BIPOC users have felt so abused by white gays that they are not particularly interested in engaging with them on the app and are instead looking to meet guys who share their experiences. by Graham Gremore See full article at Queerty See the top news on Grindr Continue reading
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SENSORTOWER - July 3 - The top grossing dating app worldwide for May 2020 was Tinder with ~$65.3M in user spending. ~41.5% of Tinder's revenue was from the U.S, followed by 5.6% from UK and 5.4% from Japan. Bumble was the second highest earning dating app worldwide for May 2020 with close to $16M in gross revenue. The next top grossing app was Pairs, followed by MeetMe and Tantan. by Julia Chan See full article at SensorTower Continue reading
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TECH CRUNCH - July 3 - S'More, whose name is short for "something more", launched last fall and has supposedly attracted ~50K users. The dating app has recently launched a video calling feature. The video is blurred for the first two minutes, which means users have got to start an interesting conversation before they can see who they're talking to. S'More has also expanded geographically, launching last week in Los Angeles. by Anthony Ha See full article at Tech Crunch See the top news on S'More Continue reading
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DAILYMAIL.CO.UK - June 30 - Badoo has launched a new safety feature that uses AI to detect unsolicited nudes that get sent through the app. Badoo says its 'private detector' has a 98% accuracy rate when covering up intimate photos. The AI identifies potentially offending photos, automatically blurs them and gives users a warning that they could contain 'inappropriate content'. The feature was introduced to the 'feminist dating app' Bumble last year, which is owned by the same holding company as Badoo. by Jonathan Chadwick See full article at DailyMail.co.uk See the top news on Badoo See the top news on Bumble Continue reading
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LAW360 - June 30 - A class of Match Group stockholders are suing IAC and media mogul Barry Diller, saying an elaborately conflicted separation of the two companies could cost Match and its stockholders billions. See full article at Law360 See the top news on Match Group Continue reading
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BUSINESS DEN - June 30 - Erica Younkin, the 42-year-old Denver marketing consultant, along with business partner Bill Catlin, has created Match Me Cards, business-sized cards that individuals can fill out with details usually found on an online dating profile. The idea is that customers then give those cards to their friends and family members, who can give them to singles who seem like a good fit. Younkin started a Kickstarter campaign on May 26. It wrapped up over the weekend, having raised $4,740, ~$200 over its goal. Customers design their own Match Me Cards on the company's website, adding a photo and details about their age, location, personality, values in relationships and contact information. They can spend $13 for a digital image card, or purchase a pack of 25, 50 or 100 cards for $44 - $60, which includes the digital version as well. by Lily O'Neill See full article at Business Den Continue reading
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NJ - June 30 - A South Jersey couple was charged this week in an international romance scam that used bogus profiles on dating sites to woo unsuspecting victims into giving up ~$6M. The married couple and their conspirators, including some in Nigeria, carried out the con from October 2016 through last month. In all, federal investigators identified 33 victims who were scammed around the country. One victim, after exhausting her savings, liquidating her retirement account, borrowing from friends and family, taking out a personal loan, and maxing out her credit cards, began embezzling money from her employer. In all, the victim funneled $4M to the scammer from her employer, according to the document. She pleaded guilty in a local court for embezzling from her job. by Noah Cohen See full article at NJ Continue reading