An In-Depth Look Into the World's Most Popular Dating Apps by@therealsjr

An In-Depth Look Into the World's Most Popular Dating Apps

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Stewart Rogers Hacker Noon profile picture

Stewart Rogers

Journalist, speaker, founder, musician, photographer, and digital nomad.

For better or worse, modern romance includes the use of dating apps to find potential romantic partners.

We look at a picture, sometimes read a bio, and then swipe left or right to show our interest. If we both swipe right, it’s a match! Then, occasionally, we’ll chat in-app. On rare occasions, we may meet up for a date. That being said, in 2020 - thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic - this has become a super-rare occurrence.

However, there has been a significant increase in dating app usage, thanks to the pandemic. Match Group's 2020 Q2 earnings report shows more people using online dating apps since COVID-19 hit.

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Source: Match Group

The dating app landscape is significant. According to Statista, revenue in the online dating segment is projected to reach $2,725m in 2020. Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2020-2024) of 11.6%, resulting in a projected market volume of $4,230m by 2024. And user penetration will be 4.3% in 2020 and is expected to hit 5.7% by 2024.

The dating app landscape

While there are hundreds of small startups in the online dating industry, the majority of market share is spread between three significant companies.

1. Match Group

  • Tinder
  • Match.com
  • Meetic
  • OkCupid
  • Hinge
  • PlentyOfFish
  • Ship
  • OurTime 
  • etc. (45 companies in total)

2. Bumble (former Magic Lab)

  • Badoo
  • Bumble
  • Chappy
  • Lumen

3. Dating Group

  • Dating.com
  • DateMyAge
  • Promise
  • Tubit
  • ChinaLove
  • DilMil
  • AnastasiaDate
  • AsianDate
  • AmoLatina
  • ArabianDate
  • YourTravelMates
  • etc

This study will focus on these three, who currently share around 35% of the online dating market. The majority of this is controlled by Match Group, which has an estimated 25.7% market share in 2020.

Match Group 

IAC recently owned Match Group. IAC is an American holding company. In 2009, IAC created Match Group, a conglomerate of Match.com and IAC's other dating sites. After announcing a separation in October 2019, which was finalized in July 2020. After its formation, Match Group acquired various dating portals, including OkCupid and PlentyOfFish, in 2015.

IAC positioned itself as a leading media and Internet company with more than 150 brands and products serving loyal consumer audiences.

While Match Group focuses exclusively on dating products, IAC had much broader interests, including an online mortgage comparison site Tree (LendingTree), TripAdvisor, and other companies that, eventually, became Expedia, Inc., Lexico (the owner of Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com, and Reference.com), an online tutoring firm Tutor.com.

Most non-dating services were eventually rolled into ANGI Homeservices Inc. and Dotdash.

Tinder, the most notable app of the group, was launched in 2012 within Hatch Labs (a startup incubator) as a joint venture between IAC and mobile app development firm Xtreme Labs. Even though the role of Tinder CEO had notable public recognition in the past, mostly while Sean Rad was leading the company, the leadership of IAC itself remains mainly unfamiliar to the general public. 

On October 11, 2019, IAC had announced that it would undergo a full separation of Match Group from the remaining businesses of IAC. [link] Post the spin-off, IAC would continue to operate ANGI Home services Inc., Vimeo, Dot dash, Mosaic Group, and other businesses. On the other hand, Match Group, Inc. would continue to operate the subscription-based online dating websites and applications such as Tinder, Match, PlentyOfFish, OkCupid, Hinge, Pairs, Ship, Meetic, and OurTime.

Match Group strengthens its presence on the market by acquiring the competitors: 

In 2020 Match Group approached Meet Group (MeetMe, Growlr, and LOVOO) about a takeover.In 2019 Match Group fully acquired Hinge; the terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The same year the Group also acquired Harmonica. In 2017 it tried to acquire Bumble for $450 million, but nothing came of it except legal troubles. Bumble and Match Group ended up suing each other instead in 2018. In 2015, Match Group acquired PlentyOfFish for $575 million in cash.Earlier in 2011, it purchased OkCupid for $50 million.

Full information on the Match Group information, including statistics, facts, and history may be found here.

Tinder

Tinder positions itself as an anonymous app that finds people nearby that like each other and connects them if they are both interested.

The company was founded in 2012 within startup incubator Hatch Labs as a joint venture of IAC and mobile development firm Xtreme Labs. The founders’ list is often disputed but usually includes Sean Rad, Jonathan Badeen, Justin Mateen, Joe Munoz, Dinesh Moorjani, and Whitney Wolf – who left Tinder to create Bumble in 2014.

Tinder is perceived as the de-facto mobile dating app and has a reputation for being a hookup app. Even though they created several mechanics now employed by other apps in the industry, many later entrants tried to distance themselves from Tinder.

How Does It Promote Itself

2012: “Discover those around you”

2013: “Find out who likes you nearby”

2014: “Tinder is how people meet. It's like real life, but better.”

2015: “Any swipe can change your life”

2016: “Meet interesting people nearby”

2018: “Match. Chat. Date”.

Current app description: “Tinder® is the world’s most popular app for meeting new people”

Tinder positioned itself as the first dating app specifically designed for mobile devices. Older dating portals tried to port their experiences and failed mainly due to their UI/UX and entire models’ complexity. Tinder was one of the first apps in the early App Store, with simplicity being the core differentiator.

Tinder has become the core of the dating ecosystem, and later apps have been forming around Tinder, tapping into specific niches that had specific interests or different attitudes about dating in general. Most of these can be separated into the following categories:

1. Pro-feminist

Since women often had negative experiences just by being on a dating app, some applied tech to shift the gender balance by creating a safer environment.

2. Elite

“Exclusive” apps targeted at people with high income and top-level education.

3. National/Religious

Apps that are focused on specific regions like APAC or Africa or religious communities.

Marketing

In March 2013, Tinder's social media director Alexa Mateen, who spearheaded Tinder's college campus expansion, said the app offered a "chance to meet people you wouldn't normally meet."

Tinder has been actively engaging with students on campuses for obvious reasons: they’re the perfect target audience, and it’s a large group of 18-25-year-old people contained in close proximity to each other.

“CEO Sean Rad says that he thinks Tinder is resonating with college students because the app has taken a more subtle approach to dating, as it doesn’t require users to “put themselves out there” to the same degree other apps require.”

Tinder: Finding Traction On Campuses, IAC's New Dating App Makes It Easy To Break The Ice 

Surprisingly, it didn’t have a specific product for schools until 2018.

Initially, Tinder has a better reputation compared to old-fashioned dating websites.

“There’s not really a stigma associated with Tinder,” says Justin Mateen, one of Tinder’s cofounders. “Dating apps in the past made you fill out a daunting form, and that process makes you feel desperate. With Tinder, our users don’t feel that at all."

The core difference from those apps is the simplicity and positive messaging of Tinder.

“Tinder's success can be attributed largely to simplicity; the app's core functionality involves swiping through photos and brief profiles of other users near your location. Swiping a photo to the right means you're interested in someone, and if they happen to like you back, Tinder offers to open up a chat session connecting the matched pair. That's it. If you're not a Facebook user, you'll be left out. Tinder uses the social network to pull in your profile data."

One of the app’s early original ideas was the Matchmaking feature: it lets you choose two folks from your Facebook friends list and introduce them via a Facebook message.

Tinder CEO Sean Rad has said that Tinder removes the "friction" associated with walking up to someone and introducing oneself.

    Attempts to Expand

    Despite their attempts to compete with apps like Bumble and expand into other categories, Tinder was unable to overcome its reputation as a hookup app.

    In an interview in 2013, Rad acknowledged that the “unwritten context” of Tinder right now is romantic relationships. Still, he argued that the primary mechanism, where two people are only connected when they both express interest in each other, is “a universal thing across friendships, across the business, across anything.” The ultimate goal, he said, is to “overcome every single problem you have when it comes to making a new relationship.

    Later in 2013, Tinder pushed a significant update yesterday that spiffs up the interface and supposedly hones the matching algorithm. The most visible change, however, is the new lists feature. In addition to liking or nixing people based on their photos and profile, users can now add each other to friends lists and chat about platonic things.

      Failing Image

      While Tinder is still the #1 dating app both in terms of its figures and public perception, the fact it was initially targeted at heterosexual relationships and simplified the casual dating and relationship model turned into an opportunity for a new generation of competing products heavily capitalizing on that. 

      As these companies were taking away Tinder’s audience, the company responded by launching various features to target those people but failed to alter its image significantly. Most of their successful launches have been about adding new monetization layers and elements.

      How It Started

      Sean Rad and Justin Mateen had known each other from the age of 14. Both come from Jewish-Iranian families in the Los Angeles area, and both attended the University of Southern California and became online entrepreneurs at the same time. Rad has said the impetus for Tinder's creation was his observation that "no matter who you are, you feel more comfortable approaching somebody if you know they want you to approach them." He believed a "double opt-in" system could be created to alleviate the stress of meeting new people. Rad has also said Tinder filled a gap in social platforms’ availability for meeting strangers, rather than connecting with people a user already knows.

      “From the beginning, I had a nagging desire to gamify it,” says Chief Strategy Officer and Tinder co-founder Jonathan Badeen, in a December live chat on discovery platform ProductHunt.

        Target Audience

        Tinder is targeting a massive userbase.

        According to their reports, 85% of its users are between 18 and 34, meaning Tinder has become the preferred dating app of millennials. It’s also mostly used by heterosexual people. In 2016, Tinder's CEO said the company was working to make the dating service better for transgender users, but it didn’t significantly affect the composition of its users. [link]

        Initially, the founders of Tinders marketed to a small and specific group of people on college campuses, probably the most active and relevant audience who then carried the app and at least the concept throughout their lives. 

        Tinder also actively used integrations with Facebook, Instagram to grow its user base.

        Development

        Tinder is probably the most known dating app, which contributed to many of the mechanics and revenue channels we associate with the industry. 

        Tinder became the first "swipe app," a now-common term for various apps that utilize left or right swiping gestures to control what content the user sees when browsing, after switching from its original icon-based functionality following inspiration co-founder Jonathan Badeen had while wiping off a foggy mirror in his bathroom.

        “From the beginning, I had a nagging desire to gamify it,” says Chief Strategy Officer and Tinder co-founder Jonathan Badeen, in a December live chat on discovery platform ProductHunt.”

        In 2013, Tinder introduced Matchmaker feature that lets you choose two folks from your Facebook friends list and consequently introduce them via a Facebook message.

        In 2014, it introduced verified accounts for lovelorn celebrities.

        In 2015, Tinder introduced the ability to go back to rejected profiles via a "rewinding" function, allowing users to correct mistaken actions. It also tried to utilize ads to drive its revenue.

        In October 2015, Tinder released the Super Like feature worldwide. This allows non-paying users to Super Like one profile every 24 hours for free.

        Tinder Plus users can use up to five Super Likes a day.

        Tinder began testing its Boost functionality in September 2016 in Australia. The feature went live for all users worldwide in October 2016. Boost allows users to make their profile the most visible profile in their area for thirty minutes, showing such profiles first to other nearby users.

        Tinder Boost, letting you pay to skip the line, goes live worldwide

        In 2017, Tinder launched its web-version and a Feed feature to provide updates on your matches, making itself closer to a social network.

        In June 2017, Tinder launched Tinder Gold, a members-only service, offering their most exclusive features: Passport, Rewind, Unlimited Likes, five Super Likes per day, one Boost per month, and more profile controls. This is an optional service offered to Tinder Plus users that costs an additional fee as a paid subscription.

        In 2018, Tinder took the core Bumble features, allowing women to message first only.  The new option allowed women to choose when to start a conversation, but it will not be the default setting as it is in Bumble.

        Traction

        By May 2013, Tinder was one of the top 25 social networking apps online, based on the frequency of use and number of users. CEO Sean Rad told TechCrunch that Tinder users have already rated over seven billion profiles globally. The app has thus far produced over 100 million matches.

        By October 2014, Tinder users completed over one billion swipes per day, producing about twelve million matches per day. By this time, Tinder's average user generally spent about 90 minutes a day on the app.

        In March 2015, Tinder released its paid service, Tinder Plus, a feature allowing unlimited matches, whereas the free Tinder app limits the number of right swipes in a 12-hour period. 

        On August 6, 2018, Tinder had over 3.7 million paid subscribers, up 81 percent over the same quarter in 2017.

        In 2019, Tinder became the top-grossing app in Apple AppStore.

          Magic Lab

          Magic Lab owns Badoo, Bumble, Chappy, and Lumen.

          Initially, Andrey Andreev, CEO & Founder of Badoo, invested in Bumble when it was founded. In 2019 Andrey Andreev sold his entire stake in MagicLab, the company that owned both Bumble and Badoo (and other dating apps), to Blackstone. He stepped away from the business in the process, and Wolfe Herd, Bumble’s founder, became the CEO of the whole company, retaining much of her stake in the business in the process. The deal valued Bumble and the wider business — which is profitable — at $3 billion.

          Almost exactly a year before, Andrey Andreev talked about a future IPO for Badoo in the U.S., listing on Nasdaq. At the time, the company also included the eponymous Badoo app, which itself now has 450 million users, as well as several others targeting more specific communities (for example, older people), and it was altogether expecting to make some $400 million in revenues in 2018. Before that, Badoo had reportedly turned down a $450 million offer for Bumble from Match (some have reported that Match might have offered as much as $1 billion or more for it).

          In July 2019, Whitney Wolfe Herd revealed plans to replace the MagicLab name with Bumble’s, as the company looks to reorganize and unify its overall mission. The move would see Bumble become the parent company of Badoo, a complete role reversal from when the female-first dating app was initially launched as part of the Badoo group.

          According to a report from Bloomberg, Bumble is preparing for an IPO that could be worth between $6 billion and $8 billion. The company is expected to go public in early 2021.

          Badoo

          Badoo is a dating-focused social network founded by Russian entrepreneur Andrey Andreev in 2006. It is headquartered in Limassol, Cyprus, and London, United Kingdom, with offices in Malta, Russia, and the United States. It operates in 190 countries and is available in 47 different languages.

          Badoo was founded by Russian entrepreneur Andrey Andreev and launched in Moscow in November 2006.

          Badoo had 12 million users by 2007. Then the founder sold part of his stake for $30 million. Sometime later, Finam bought another 10%. While the buy price was much higher, the trade value was never disclosed. In 2011, the dating website was named one of the most successful social media platforms worldwide. Wired described Badoo as a "mass phenomenon" in Brazil, Mexico, France, Spain, and Italy. In 2016 it was the most-downloaded dating app in 21 countries. 

          Today the number of Badoo users is more than 418 million. The most active countries are Italy, Brazil, Spain, France, and Poland. 

          On April 13, 2011, Facebook threatened to close Badoo if it did not become less viral. It had to do it and became less viral.

          It seems that Badoo acquired much of its audience from Facebook. It is understood that Badoo gained its 160-million users from two primary sources:

          The first 15 million users were acquired from Mamba. One hundred million more were acquired from Facebook.

          The chronology of Badoo’s viral growth is as follows:

          Facebook presented a feature in API that allowed applications to publish notes to friends´ walls. Badoo quickly understood this opportunity. The Badoo team created an app that automatically posts notes to a user’s friends when answering questions about them inside the application. Facebook demanded that Badoo make the app less viral on April 13, 2011,Badoo fulfilled Facebook’s requirements and, under the questions, displayed a tick box with the option “Publish to your friend’s wall,” but made the message gray. If the user removes the tick, then Badoo shows the following question:

          image

          After all, Facebook has blocked Badoo from posting messages on friends´ walls. But Badoo is still allowed to post messages to those who answer questions. When you answer a question about your friend, the platform posts a message to your wall, and only your friends see it. Badoo’s DAU fell to 380,000 and its MAU to 4.5 million.

          In July 2019, a Forbes investigation found that Badoo had a history of drug-fueled parties and sexist behavior. After that report, in November 2019, Andrey Andreev,  the founder of Badoo, sold his entire stake in MagicLab to Blackstone. The deal valued Bumble and the broader business at $3 billion, while Wolfe Herd became the Badoo CEO.

          Bumble

          Bumble is a location-based social and dating application. Its core difference is that in heterosexual matches, only female users can make the first contact with matched male users, while in same-sex matches, either person can send a message first.

          How It Started

          Bumble was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd in partnership with Badoo, shortly after she left Tinder, a dating app she co-founded.

          How Does It Promote Itself

          Bumble doesn’t have a robust all-pervading slogan and often changes its key message.

          2015: “Changing the rules of the game”

          2016: “Social Pollination”

          2017: “Find your honey” and “Life’s short. Make the first move”

          2018: “We’re not just for dating anymore”

          2019: “Make the first move”

          Wolfe Herd, the founder, has described Bumble as a "feminist dating app" multiple times.

          Bumble heavily utilized Herd’s image and distanced itself from Tinder while positioning itself as its competitor, despite the fact it was just launching. Tinder was in the top 15 of social networks and reported processing over 1 billion swipes and matching more than 12 million daily. Doing that enabled it to quickly jumpstart its growth as people started comparing it to Tinder.

          Feminist Focus

          Bumble has actively used the past of its founder at Tinder to jumpstart its public presence and capitalize on the competitor by positioning itself as a more feminist alternative.

          Bumble has been considered as a "feminist Tinder." Its founder has confirmed this identity, calling the app "100 percent feminist”.

          Most of the later coverage mentioned the sexual assault lawsuit Wolfe filed against her former coworkers.

          Wolfe Herd shared in an interview with Vanity Fair the concept behind the app: "If you look at where we are in the current heteronormative rules surrounding dating, the unwritten rule puts the woman a peg under the man—the man feels the pressure to go first in a conversation, and the woman feels pressure to sit on her hands... If we can take some of the pressure off the man and put some of that encouragement in the woman’s lap, I think we are taking a step in the right direction, especially in terms of really being true to feminism. I think we are the first feminist, or first attempt at a feminist dating app.”

          Part of their focus was on highlighting the share of female users who are comfortable using the app.

            Reputation and Security

            In general, Bumble created a better reputation for itself – not just a hookup app. That included quality of content on the platform:

            Bumble will soon let users get verified in an effort to squash impersonators.

            But also the users themselves.

            That even allowed Bumble to partner with notable companies and personalities, something that’d be harder to imagine for some of their competitors.

              More than Dating

              Bumble released BFF, a feature that lets users use the same swiping and matching algorithms for friendship instead of dating.

              Bumble launches BFF, a feature to find new friends

              Bumble plans to add the ability to network with professionals.

              In general, Bumble used various tactics to avoid the reputation of a hookup app. At one point, it conducted a study to find out the preference of its audience. The results said that 85 percent of the users said they're "looking for marriage or a boyfriend/girlfriend.”

              Target Audience

              Bumble has been explicitly targeting people tired of previous dating apps but mostly already familiar with the concept. 

              When founder Whitney Wolfe was interviewed, she confirmed, “it’s for anyone and everyone who has ever wanted a meaningful connection. You have to be 18 to join the app, and our target demographic is 18-34; but we want everyone to feel included and welcome within our community.”

              Value Proposition

              “The more time I spent on Bumble, however, the more different it seemed. Tinder always made me feel slightly sleazy, embarrassed for myself and other people. There was so much skin, and everyone was selling. Bumble had a friendlier vibe. “Classy” is a word often used to describe it. <...> This kicky bit of female empowerment is what distinguishes Bumble from other dating apps on the market. As Bumble’s slogan goes, make the first move.” [link]

              Development

              Bumble released a "backtrack" feature in 2015 that allows users to undo accidental left swipes by shaking their phones. Three free "backtracks" are provided initially, which are replenished every three hours. 

              In March 2016, Bumble released BFF mode as a way for users to find platonic friends. After switching into this mode, the app replaces potential dates with people of the user's same sex who are also looking for friends. BFF mode uses the same swipe right or left platform as the app's dating mode and requires that a conversation is started within 24 hours of matching with a potential friend.

              In August 2016, Bumble announced its paid service, Bumble Boost, which includes three premium features. Bumble Boost cost £20.99/ $9.99 a month and adds Beeline, a list of users who have liked the user; Rematch, which keeps expired matches in a user's queue for 24 additional hours; and Busy Bee, which allows users unlimited 24-hour extensions for matches

              Traction

              In June 2015, Bumble announced that its female users had started more than one million conversations on the platform.

              Bumble Dating App Tops 1 Million Unique Conversations.

              In December 2015, Whitney Wolfe said that they’ve seen as high as 65 percent month-over-month growth, and more than 80 million matches made by users. These stats translate into two million swipes by boys and girls each hour and over 100,000 girl-initiated matches each hour.

              In 2016, Bumble reported 3.5M users.

              Bumble had a reported 22 million users as of November 2017 and 27 million downloads as of February 2018.

              As of 2019, Bumble has over 55 million users worldwide.

              Bumble is consistently in the top 10 lifestyle apps in the U.S., according to App Annie data. The WSJ reports that Bumble now has some 75 million users. However, Apptopia’s figures are a little more conservative: it notes that aggregated, lifetime downloads of Bumble are about 52 million, while lifetime in-app purchase revenue is about $335 million.  By July 2020, Bumble announced it had reached 100 million users. 

              Dating Group

              Dating Group is a global social discovery company that enables people worldwide to connect and date safely through its brands, including Dating.com, DateMyAge, Promise, Tubit, ChinaLove, DilMil, and many more, each with a unique platform tailored to different communities defined by interest, geography and demographics. 

              Dating Group products are available in almost 100 countries on all platforms and monetize through advertising, virtual gifts and premium membership. The services include chat, sharing photos, streaming live video.

              Dating Group operates a $50M corporate venture capital fund that invests in social discovery and dating apps and products that can benefit from the technical talent and product advice of Dating Group, focusing on Seed rounds to Series B

              How It Started

              Dating Group was formally formed in 2019 when SDVentures, an international internet holding, merged its dating and social discovery products with SOL Holdings, an online entertainment and communications holding, to form Dating.com Group. As a result of the finalized deal, SDVentures received $215 million in cash and an equity stake in the newly created Dating.com Group

              Dating.com Group joint holding became one of the largest global companies in the dating and social discovery industry targeting European, Asian and American markets, with annual revenue exceeding $200 million as reported by the group in its press release. It has over 73 million registered users across the brands, including Dating.com, DateMyAge, LovingA, Tubit, AnastasiaDate, ChinaLove, and more. Each has a unique platform tailored to different communities defined by interest, geography, and demographics.

              More business information can be found on the group’s website: http://datinggrp.com/

              Brands

              Dating Group has more than 73 million registered users across the entire portfolio.

              Dating.com is a global matchmaking service bringing members together with eligible singles in the most modern way possible. A truly advanced dating platform, Dating.com delivers a range of hi-tech features aimed at giving people the chance to chat, match up and find love worldwide.

              Dil Mil is the fastest growing matchmaking app for South Asian expats, disrupting the broken arranged marriage model and solving the privacy & usability concerns with existing outdated solutions. We're adding over 1,000+ new users per day and growing users & revenue over 50% month over month.

              Founded in 1993, AnastasiaDate is a trailblazer on the international dating scene with an industry-leading range of communication features enjoyed by over 20 million users. AnastasiaDate connects singles around the world with European matches for love, romance and companionship.

              DateMyAge is a dedicated matchmaking platform for a global community of mature singles who believe that dating never stops no matter what the age. Young-at-heart members aged 45+ can take advantage of simple but effective features to make meaningful connections and find their soulmate.

              YourChristianDate is the world's most innovative faith-based dating service that enables like-minded matches to find each other online. At the heart of the experience is a large and supportive community of Christian singles open to real friendship and long-lasting relationships.

              YourTravelMates is a refreshing travel dating service that gives everyone the chance to find a travel companion online. The communication platform has a winning combination of proactive members, travel discovery, and exciting technology to deliver the best in social travel adventure.

              AsianDate has earned a reputation as the most sought-after international dating service for singles seeking matches throughout Asia. The popular platform has a proven track-record of inspiring romantic success and helping matches make progress using a range of features including Live Chat and CamShare.

              AmoLatina is a highly engaging international dating experience where members worldwide can discover the joy of Latin American singles. The instant dating service is packed with verified members and offers cutting-edge features that bring matches together in a variety of exciting ways.

              ArabianDate is an international matchmaking service aimed at helping members worldwide get together with singles from Arab countries including Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. A range of luxury dating features available on the service facilitates serious and long-lasting communication between well-matched couples.

              Dating Group VC Fund

              In 2020 Dating Group announced the formation of its own Corporate VC fund to invest in dating projects across the globe. 

              The fund’s initial size is $50 million and was announced during GDI Insights in New York City, where Dating Group investor Dmitry Volkov presented on where opportunity lies in the industry. This corporate vehicle under the Dating Group umbrella will invest in companies in the seed to series B stages, with a ticket size of up to $5 million. 

              The first investments were already made; this year fund invested in S’More, a dating app that provides daters with a totally interactive way to learn more about a person before evaluating them based on appearance, and in Props, a decentralized platform that incentivizes users’ participation in consumer apps and services through SEC-regulated tokens. 

              Strategy

              Dating Group is a mature company in its niche. It has projects targeting a global audience, as well as projects in Latin America, the US, Asia, and the Middle East. Dating Group occupies about 33% of the market share for cross-border international dating and has offices in seven countries. 

              In order to expand, Dating.com Group sees three main directions: buying, building, and investing in promising dating projects. The launch of its VC fund, the debut of a new niche dating app, and the recent acquisition of Dil Mil illustrates its strategy of expansion through investment, development, and M&A, respectively. In all, the company is planning to strengthen its influence in the dating market and is expected to expand its business globally.

              History

              In November 2020 the Group acquired Dil Mil.

              Dil Mil, a dating app for the Indian diaspora, is redefining “arranged” marriages

              In March 2020 the Group announced the launch of the CVC fund.

              In April 2020 Dating.com Group changed its brand name to Dating Group.

              Later this month Dating Group announced its further plans at the regular board meeting in Malta.

              Further Development 

              Dating Group sees the huge potential behind the niche apps — the team believes there’s a clear trend of dating moving towards apps targeted at specific audiences and varying significantly in the way they work. As there are over 1,500 dating apps, people simply do not want to struggle with making a choice and turn to those apps that meet their requirements in the most effective way. 

              Therefore niche dating represents the next wave of dating and opens a huge space for new opportunities and entrants. Dating Group plans to develop further in this direction — in the long term it strives to satisfy the specific needs of all niche groups’ representatives. 

              This year deals and new projects prove Dating Group to follow this development strategy. In spring Dating Group announced the expansion of its brand portfolio by launching a new product specifically targeted at the LGBT community—a community not covered by any of its brands yet.  

              This new guys-only dating app will offer a unique combination of freemium local connection and unlimited long-distance contacts available under subscription. The app will also have several unique features, including video streaming tools that will make communications truly real while offering more possibilities to match with other users.

              Dating Group Amid Covid-19

              The number of daily active users has increased significantly (+15%); the share of female users also increased by 15%. Daters began to communicate more – the number of users entering into conversations on dating platforms increased by 18%. The average time spent on the dating platforms has increased by 14%.The audience of dating services has changed – the number of sports & fitness, lifestyles & hobbies, shoppers and media & entertainment lovers has significantly increased (+31%, +16%, +16% and 7% accordingly), while the number of news & politics and cooking enthusiasts has dropped down (-18% and -10% accordingly). 

              Dating Group is a global social discovery company that enables people worldwide to connect and date safely through its brands, including Dating.com, DateMyAge, Promise, Tubit, ChinaLove, DilMil, and many more.

              Dating Group operates a $50M corporate venture capital fund that invests in social discovery and dating apps and products that can benefit from the technical talent and product advice of Dating Group, focusing on Seed rounds to Series B.

              Dating Group was formally formed in 2019 when SDVentures, an international internet holding, merged its dating and social discovery products with SOL Holdings, an online entertainment and communications holding, to form Dating.com Group. As a result of the finalized deal, SDVentures received $215 million in cash and an equity stake in the newly created Dating.com Group.

              Dating.com Group joint holding became one of the largest global companies in the dating and social discovery industry targeting European, Asian and American markets, with annual revenue exceeding $200 million as reported by the group in its press release. It has over 73 million registered users across the brands, including Dating.com, DateMyAge, LovingA, Tubit, AnastasiaDate, ChinaLove, and more. Each has a unique platform tailored to different communities defined by interest, geography, and demographics. 

              More business information can be found on the group’s website: http://datinggrp.com/.

              This study was originally published at Grit Daily and has been reposted with permission: https://gritdaily.com/study-ever-changing-landscape-dating-apps/

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