Match Group Acquires Egyptian Dating Startup Harmonica

Match Group
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Match Group, owner of Tinder, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish and Match.com, has added a new name to its portfolio of dating platforms: Harmonica. The Egyptian online dating startup has been acquired by Match Group for an undisclosed sum.

Harmonica was founded in early 2017 by Sameh Saleh, Tamer Saleh, Shaymaa Aly and Aly Khaled. The app aims to help singles in the Middle East match with potential life partners while respecting the faith, traditions, and culture of the region.

“Two years ago, we founded Harmonica with our sisters, cousins, and friends in mind, with the goal of helping them find a perfect partner. It was critical that what we built was something to protect them and represent the values that our community cares deeply about,” Sameh Saleh said in a statement. “It was also important that our parents would be comfortable with them using our app. We’ve already facilitated hundreds of marriages just in Egypt and believe that with Match Group’s vast experience, there are exciting opportunities ahead.”

Harmonica currently has 12 full-time employees and serves singles in over 33 countries across Asia and the MENA region. The Egyptian startup is backed by local accelerator Flat6Labs Cairo and global accelerator 500 Startups. To date, Harmonica has raised $180,000 USD in two funding rounds. Both investors have fully exited the Egyptian startup with this acquisition.

Match Group’s acquisition of Harmonica comes at a time when the dating giant has its sights on expansion in the Middle East. It will face competition from local platforms such as Muzmatch, a Muslim matchmaking app that now boasts over 1 million users and backing from Y Combinator. Harmonica will retain its base in Cairo, becoming Match Group’s first office in the region, and Sameh Saleh will remain in position as the CEO.

Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of Match Group, said: “As we think about international growth and expansion, there are huge populations of young singles — mostly across Asia and the Middle East — that will be looking for their life partners in the near future, and that are not properly served by Western products.”

“The Harmonica team is not only smart and innovative but has built a highly differentiated and technologically impressive product that, although early-stage, truly understands the needs of this culture,” Ginsberg added. “We believe we’ve found great talent, with local expertise and insights that will help us further succeed in our international expansion strategy.”

Harmonica is available to download for iOS and Android on their respective app stores.