Spark Buys Zoosk for $258 Million

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CEO of Spark Networks Jeronimo Folgueira and outgoing CEO of Zoosk Steven McArthur
Image: Zoosk

Online dating conglomerate Spark Networks announced its purchase of Zoosk for $258 million USD. The popular dating app was acquired with a combination of cash and stock, and Spark will have full ownership of Zoosk shares.

According to the terms of the deal, Spark will issue 12,980,000 ADSs (American Depository Shares) to former Zoosk shareholders, valued at $152 million based on the closing price of Spark ADSs of $11.78 on June 28, 2019. It also provides for a cash consideration of $150 million, subject to adjustment, according to the company’s press release. Former Zoosk shareholders owned 49 percent of the company.

Dating App Users Triple in India in 2018

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India Online Dating is on the Rise

A new study found that dating app users tripled in India over the course of 2018, thanks mainly to women.

Dating app usage in the Indian market has huge potential, and not just because of the impressive growth over the last year. Overall user penetration still rather low at 2.7 percent as of 2018, but it’s expected to hit 3.2 percent by 2023 according to online market researcher Statista. Analysts also expect the market to be valued at $100 million in the next five to eight years, according to a report in LiveMint.

Once Will Display Users’ Attractiveness Ratings In The Name Of ‘Transparency’

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Dating App Once

Dating apps have long used hidden scoring systems to rank users’ desirability. Tinder made headlines in 2016 when then-CEO Sean Rad revealed to Fast Company that Tinder users were assigned and matched according to an internal “Elo score.” Tinder has since retired the Elo score in favor of an updated algorithm, but it is not the only dating service that issues users an attractiveness rating.

UK-based app Once is one such service. Not only does Once use an attractiveness scale of one to five to guide its matching system, the company recently emailed its users to tell them their scores.

Bumble Is Opening A Cafe In Manhattan That Serves “Date-Friendly” Food And Drinks

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Bumble Brew Concept
Image: Bumble

You swiped right, you chatted, you’re ready to take the plunge and meet in person - now what? If you’re in New York City, your next step could soon be a visit to a cafe and wine bar run by Bumble. The Austin-based company will open the space, which it has named Bumble Brew, in fall 2019 in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood.

By day, Bumble Brew will be a cafe serving pastries and coffee. By night, it will transform into a wine bar serving $12 to $16 glasses of vino and a selection of small plates. Bumble intends for the 70-seat venue to be a meeting space for users of the app who are networking, on a date or meeting friends. It will also host demonstrations from female chefs, BFF parties, networking events and date nights.

Tinder Co-Founder’s Lawsuit Against IAC Moves Closer To Trial After Motion To Dismiss Is Denied

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The dating industry’s trial of the century is one step closer to taking place. Tinder co-founder Sean Rad’s $2 billion lawsuit against the dating app’s parent company, IAC, can move forward after a New York Supreme Court judge rejected IAC’s motion to dismiss the case. Rad and his co-plaintiffs may pursue their allegations that IAC purposely undervalued Tinder to avoid paying out billions of dollars in stock options to the dating app’s original team.

“We are pleased by the court's ruling denying IAC/Match's motion to dismiss and paving the way for this case to go to trial,'' Orin Snyder, Rad's lawyer, said in a statement. “IAC/Match robbed the Tinder founders and early employees and will now be held accountable by a jury for their multi-billion dollar scheme.”

Justine Sacco, a spokesperson for Match Group, also issued a statement: “This baseless lawsuit has no more merit today than it did a year ago when it was filed. We’re pleased the court dismissed some of these bogus claims and look forward to defeating the rest of them, both on appeal and in the trial court.”

Coffee Meets Bagel Introduces ‘Unlimited Takes’ and ‘Priority Likes’

Coffee Meets Bagel
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Unlimited Takes and Priority Likes for CMB Subscribers

Coffee Meets Bagel launched in 2012 as a slower-paced alternative to the superficial, swiped-based apps that dominate the dating market. Now seven years into the business, co-founders and sisters Arum Kang, Dawoon Kang and Soo Kang are seeking new ways to differentiate and monetize their product.

2018 saw big changes and big victories come to Coffee Meets Bagel. After revamping its paid subscription services, the company raised $12 million in its series B and doubled its number of users. A premium monthly membership offers users activity reports about their matches (a “bagel,” in the app’s parlance), read receipts and 6,000 beans (the in-app currency) every month. At the time of its launch, Dawoon Kang told VentureBeat the membership was the company’s “first step toward a freemium subscription model.”