Owner of Badoo and Bumble Launches New Parent Company Magic Lab

Magic Lab
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Andrey Andreev, who owns popular dating apps Badoo, Bumble, Lumen and Chappy, has created a new holding company called Magic Lab.

Magic Lab seems to be positioning itself to compete directly with Match Group by offering a similar setup: a suite of diverse apps aimed at different dating markets. However, Magic Labs stated how it plans to distinguish itself in its company mission, taking aim at dating app culture overall: “The brands will focus on marketing to solve societal issues such as misogyny, stereotypes, self-doubt and ageism.”

Bumble has been a star performer under the leadership of Whitney Wolfe Herd, who has also made it her mission to level the dating playing field and give women more power in pursuing and forming relationships on their terms. She’s launched a number of female-empowerment initiatives including a media company that mentors young female filmmakers; and has partnered with stars such as Serena Williams and Priyanka Chopra to bring attention to the brand and its mission.

In fact, Bumble has gone head-to-head with Match Group’s star app Tinder, positioning itself as the female-friendly dating app aimed at relationship-building rather than hook-ups. It offers more safety features as well as two complementary apps, Bumble Bizz and BFF, for young women to network for friends and careers. Bumble has 55 million users and generates 2 billion matches in a year (with 1 billion first moves by women)

Chappy is noted for being a “safe space” for gay daters looking for a serious relationship. Badoo boasts 425 million users worldwide and is ramping up its focus on safety and “honest dating.” In June they launched a new marketing campaign and a new logo which is a combination heart and a smile which symbolizes honesty in dating. Badoo is now available in 190 countries and makes 4 billion matches a year.

Lumen is another interesting player in Magic Lab’s offerings, aimed at the over-50 dating market. As other apps try to win over the coveted 18-25 demographic, Lumen doubled down its advertising spend with an international campaign to appeal to older daters, who generally have more to spend, might have already been married, and are looking for new relationships. In 9 months Lumen had 1 million users join the service (in only 6 markets including US, UK, Canada, and Australia). Every profile a user sees on Lumen has been verified.

Andreev backed up these efforts with a statement. "Today we are making our mission known to the world - Magic Lab creates life-changing moments for millions of people by building relationships…The formation of this group reflects our belief that the Internet can be used as a force for good and that everyone deserves a connection, no matter your social, ethnic or economic background."

Andreev is looking to broaden its suite of apps, too. He goes on to announce that he’s committing $100 million to “identify, recruit and support the next generation of product visionaries and innovative founders that share a common purpose – fundamentally changing the lives of every human on the planet by bringing people together.”

The money will be used primarily for marketing and incubating new start-ups Andreev says, as Magic Labs already have robust technology and infrastructure that all of its dating apps share.

Andreev’s mission is laudable, but the real test will be how the apps will continue to fare outside of the US market, and especially in Asia where the dating app usage is still relatively small. But it is positioning itself as a more interesting alternative to the typical dating apps people in the US have been using, and if Bumble’s growth is any indication, he’s on the right track. To find out more about this company you can visit their website.