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Mark Brooks
An authority on the business of internet dating
Recent Activity
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FORBES - Feb 24 - Vardanyan became a shareholder in iris Dating (NYC) which is powered by AI. "I understand that if by 2030 45% of Europeans are single, and if we see that people live another 30-40 years longer and at the same time many of them do not have a second half, then loneliness becomes one of the most important elements of the future world," Ruben reasoned. iris Dating uses AI to understand the visual preferences of each user. AI determines what is interesting to a particular person and finds the photo which the user will like. On dating apps women like 3-5% of male profiles. On iris, girls like 30%. The service has selfie verification, and a reliability rating. Growth Director Daniel Mori is on the team and was VP Marketing at Zoosk for 5 years. Mark Brooks (of Courtland Brooks) says "AI is most useful when we can see if people are successful in relationships. But this is difficult to do because users remove dating apps when they decide to end their online dating, which usually means they are happy or unhappy. Typically, we don't know the exact cause, and the AI ​​isn't getting the most... Continue reading
LTR - Feb 25 - Over 80% of working adults report feeling "time poor." The added stress of feeling like there is not enough time in the day to accomplish necessary tasks has had negative impacts on health and social relationships. Ashley Whillans, Assistant Professor in Negotiations, Organizations, and Markets at Harvard Business School discusses the importance of making smart decisions to balance time and money. According to research, the detrimental effects of time poverty surpass those of unemployment. The pandemic and working from home have increased the daily workload and aggravates the problem. Professor Ashley Whillans provides several proven strategies to reclaim time to live a happier life in the latest video in the LTR Webinar series. LTR stands for Love, Technology, Relationships and the online conference covers the Internet dating and Online Social Communities space. It is for members of IDEA and OSCA. The November LTR was kindly sponsored by RealMe, vPaaS by The Meet Group, Utopia Analytics, Real Gifts & Courtland Brooks. Continue reading
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INVESTORPLACE - Feb 25 - Bumble has had a very successful IPO. One reason why BMBL stock has done so well after its IPO (up $28 from its $43 IPO price last week), is the high EV-to-EBITDA. MatchGroup made $2.4B and made EBITDA of $794.5M. As MTCH stock has an EV of $46.2B, its EV-to-EBITDA multiple is 58x. By comparison, Bumble made an adjusted EBITDA of $144.4M. This means its EV-to-EBITDA multiple is 56x. In other words, BMBL has a similar EV-to-EBITDA multiple compared to Match Group. But there is a problem. Bumble is not worth this high a multiple. Bumble is not worth more than $43.45 per share. by Mark R. Hake See full article at Investorplace See the top news on Bumble Continue reading
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BUSINESS STANDARD - Feb 24 - JP Morgan Asset Management, which holds shares in Matrimony.com, is offloading its stake in the company via open markets through a bulk deal. The stock has surged 362% from its 52-week low of Rs 251 ($3.5) in March 2020. Shares of Matrimony.com hit a record high of Rs 1,160 ($16) after surging 19% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Wednesday. The stock has zoomed 43% in the past two trading days. See full article at Business Standard See the top news on Matrimony.com Continue reading
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THE STRAITS TIMES - Feb 23 - The founder of Sugarbook has been charged at the Magistrate's Court in Malaysia over the publication of a post "Top 10 Sugar Baby Universities in Malaysia" with intention to cause public fear. The charge carries imprisonment of up to two years or fine or both. On Feb 15, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) blocked access to Sugarbook for allegedly breaching the law on the use of network facilities or services. However, Sugarbook's developer then set up an alternative site to enable its users to access the blocked webpage. See full article at The Straits Times See the top news on Sugarbook Continue reading
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OUT.COM - Feb 23 - Gay men are still hooking up, but there's a greater emphasis on love and safety than in pre-pandemic days, according to Grindr's recent survey. According to Grindr, 64% of the men surveyed said they were trying to find new socially-distant ways to meet up with other gay men. 48 % said they had virtual hookups, and another 31 % revealed they've hooked up while wearing a mask. 58% said they are now more interested in a long-term relationship and 67% said personality is more important than in pre-pandemic times. by Donald Padgett See full article at Out.com See the top news on Grindr Continue reading
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CAPE TOWN ETC - Feb 23 - Intentions is the brainchild of Ayal Belling. The first version of the app, named Predict, was launched in 2016 and after early market interest he joined forces with partner Maritza van den Heuvel and they reimagined the app as Intentions - the dating app that promises more good dates, sooner. The app focuses more on written content and compatibility than images. Users are asked twenty 'yes/no' questions to help understand their personality and values, and are then matched with the profiles of compatible users. by Kirsten Jacobs See full article at Cape Town Etc See the top news on Intentions (previously Predict) Continue reading
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PR.COM - Feb 23 - WooPlus, a dating app for curvy people, is launching the new lifestyle fashion app Zaftigx for curvy women, where they can explore trends, enjoy deals, and cash back. See full article at PR.com See the top news on WooPlus Continue reading
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MASHABLE - Feb 23 - According to OkCupid, Aug. 1 will be "the hottest day for dating in 2021," after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to offer all UK adults the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by July 31. Vaccines are a hot topic among online daters at the moment, according to OkCupid data. The dating app reports a 137% increase in the mentions of 'vaccine' on OkCupid profiles between November 2020 and January 2021. 42% of OkCupid respondents said they'd cancel a date with someone who didn't want to take the vaccine. by Rachel Thompson See full article at Mashable See the top news on OkCupid Continue reading
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TECH CRUNCH - Feb 23 - The app spending will reach $270B by 2025, including paid downloads, in-app purchases and subscriptions, according to Sensor Tower. In-app spending will return to pre-pandemic levels of stable growth over the next few years, downloads will continue to grow and app store spending in non-game apps will overtake mobile game spending by 2024. By 2024, Sensor Tower expects non-game spending to reach $86B compared with $73B in game spending. And by 2025, that gap will widen, with non-games reaching $107B while mobile games reach $78B. Last year, global consumer spending in the top 100 subscription apps was up by 34% YOY. by Sarah Perez See full article at Tech Crunch Continue reading
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EXCHANGE4MEDIA - Feb 23 - Bumble has partnered with Ritu Varma, Abijeet Duddala, Alekhya Harika and Shreyas Mediratta, who will share their dating tips and tricks to help women make the first move. See full article at Exchange4Media See the top news on Bumble Continue reading
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TECH CRUNCH - Feb 22 - Snack, founded by Kimberly Kaplan, looks to merge the popularity and format of TikTok with the dating world. Kaplan hails from Plenty of Fish, where she was one of the earliest employees. She led product, marketing and revenue and was on the executive team that eventually sold PoF to Match Group for $575M in 2015. Snack is a video-first dating app that asks users to create a video and post it to a feed. Other users can scroll through a feed rather than swipe right or left on individual profiles, and when someone likes a video, it opens up the ability to comment. Once two users have liked each others' videos, DMs are open. Kaplan said that Snack is also working on video editing features similar to that of TikTok to let people get super creative with their profiles. There are 10 people on the Snack team. by Jordan Crook See full article at Tech Crunch This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.com Continue reading
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GLOBAL LEGAL CHRONICLE - Feb 22 - The Norwegian Data Protection Authority (Datatilsynet) has announced its intention to fine NOK100M ($12M) for what the regulator has described as illegal disclosure of user data to advertising firms. Should the fine be finalized, it would be the largest GDPR fine issued in the Nordics. by Federica Tiefenthaler See full article at Global Legal Chronicle See the top news on Grindr Continue reading
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CNN - Feb 22 - A record $304M was reported lost to romance scams in 2020, up 50% from 2019. The pandemic has made things easier, creating legitimate reasons for scammers to hide their real motives, claiming they cannot meet in person or need money for medical treatment. According to the FTC, gift cards and wire transfers are the most commonly used payment methods by online scammers, both of which can be difficult to track. by Shirin Ali See full article at CNN Continue reading
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BOSTON HERALD - Feb 22 - Dating apps have seen a significant uptick in activity over the last year - Hinge reported a 19% increase in dates globally between 2019 and 2020 - but several single people have taken it one step further, seeking out dating coaches and matchmakers. Alexis Germany, a Las Vegas-based dating coach who shares advice on her TikTok, said her business has tripled. Dating experts say their new customers are more dedicated to finding a committed relationship and more open-minded when it comes to where a match is located. by Arit John See full article at Boston Herald See the top news on Hinge Continue reading
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GLOBE NEWSWIRE - Feb 16 - PLBY Group, the owner of Playboy, appointed Lance Barton as CFO. Mr. Barton joins PLBY Group from Match Group, where he served as head of Corporate Development and Investor Relations. He joined Match Group from IAC in 2014, and helped lead a period of substantial growth at Match Group, including a 1300% increase in Match Group's share price and a $45B increase in Match Group's market capitalization. See full article at Globe Newswire See the top news on Match Group Continue reading
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BLOOMBERG - Feb 20 - Dating platform ParshipMeet is considering listings on the country's stock exchange. ParshipMeet's owner, the broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, is working with advisers on a potential IPO of the business. The company has been encouraged by the successful listing of Bumble in the U.S. this month. by Aaron Kirchfeld, Myriam Balezou & Eyk Henning See full article at Bloomberg See the top news on ParshipMeet Group Continue reading
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MALAY MAIL - Feb 20 - Last week, Sugarbook's founder and CEO was arrested on suspicion of wrongfully confining persons for prostitution, soliciting for prostitution, making statements with an intent to cause fear or public alarm, and for improper use of network facilities or a network service. After the police announced investigations on women who are subscribed to the service, they said the exchanges between two consenting adults was not the authorities' business. Advance Tertiary College's academic director Daniel Abishegam said that Sugarbook was simple a "glorified" dating agency whose services did not expressly include trading sex for cash. Lawyer Fahri Azzat argued that Sugarbook was not fundamentally different from other dating services despite its premise of being "where romance meets finance". by Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin See full article at Malay Mail See the top news on Sugarbook Continue reading
LTR - Feb 22 - Over the past 20 to 30 years, research has advanced several economic theories that relate well to the dating industry. These include the theory of behavior change, experimentation, and consumer value. Robert Metcalfe, Co-founder of The Behavioralist, discusses the application of behavioral economics to measure consumer value in online dating. He explains the methodology that equates willingness to pay to consumer value. More specifically, the more that a consumer is willing to pay for a product or service, the happier they will be with that purchase. Robert Metcalfe details the benefits of analyzing consumer value to maximize profits in the latest video in the LTR Webinar series. LTR stands for Love, Technology, Relationships and the online conference covers the Internet dating and Online Social Communities space. It is for members of IDEA and OSCA. The November LTR was kindly sponsored by RealMe, vPaaS by The Meet Group & Utopia Analytics. Continue reading
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OPW - Feb 21 - No fluff, just daily executive news summaries. Subscribe here to get the daily dose by email. Continue reading
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ODA - Feb 18 - Match.com, a Match Group brand, was a founding member of the ODA in 2014. The ODA exists to promote high user safety standards within the dating sector. Morgan Cauvin, Match Group's Head of Government Relations EMEA has been recently appointed Chair of the ODA. See the top news on Match Group See the top news on Match.com Continue reading
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LAW360 - Feb 18 - The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has refused to allow a developer to register Beender as a trademark for its dating app, finding that the name sounds too similar to Tinder. See full aritcle at Law360 See the top news on Tinder Continue reading
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PR NEWSWIRE - Feb 18 - Last year turned the dating world upside down. According to Dating.com's recent survey 90% of singles have turned to online dating consistently since March 2020 as a more health conscious way of meeting new people, compared to last year's 82%. 70% of daters said they are interested in conducting virtual dates to get to know an online match; compared to last year's 50% figure. Dating.com witnessed 925K new registered members in the last 12 months. See full article at PR Newswire See the top news on Dating.com Continue reading
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MOTHERSHIP.SG - Feb 18 - Sugarbook itself is also being investigated for prostitution and the improper use of network services. Darren Chan's arrest comes about a week after the release of a survey by SeekingArrangement, which said that Malaysia holds the third spot in Asia for the highest number of sugar daddies. Separately, a statement released by Sugarbook at about the same time pointed out that the month of Jan. had seen a 40% increase in sign-ups on the platform among Malaysian university students. Access to Sugarbook's website was blocked on Feb. 15 by Malaysia's Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). by Matthias Ang See full article at Mothership.sg See the top news on Sugarbook Continue reading
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QUARTZ - Feb 14 - Dating online has revolutionized how we fall in love. The industry has 270m monthly users globally and grew by 13% in 2020, but online dating (swiping) has become exhausting. Experts say the apps that define the next era of online dating will offer more fun, safety, and community. Amarnath Thombre, head of Match North America said Match's strategy is to "have each app run its own experiment," and, as the experiments play out, the company can use the successful features in its other properties. Match is also expanding into Asia with the lucrative Pairs in Japan, and Hawaya a Muslim-focused service. Bumble had 42m MAU in Q3 2020. Facebook Dating seems to have fizzled, although some industry experts say it still has big potential [(Mark Brooks)] "Pretty much everything that we charge for on Hinge, we couldn't really give away for free because then it wouldn't work anymore," said Hinge's CEO/founder Justin McLeod. "Think about Roses, for example. Roses are really, really special. If we gave everyone unlimited Roses, then it would completely defeat the purpose of Roses." Hinge downloads grew 63% globally between 2019 and 2020. Mark Brooks, a leading industry consultant, says that... Continue reading