Finances

Tinder Dethrones Netflix As Top-Grossing Non-Game App In Q1 2019

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Image: Sensor Tower

After more than two years in the top spot, Netflix is no longer the world’s highest-grossing non-gaming mobile app. That title now goes to Tinder, which grossed $260.7 million from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store in the first quarter of this year.

App store intelligence firm Sensor Tower recently released its rankings of the highest grossing apps in the United States and worldwide for Q1 2019. Overall, global app revenue reached $19.5 billion last quarter, up nearly 17 percent year-over-year. Consumer spending on Apple’s App Store totaled approximately $12.4 billion globally, while Google Play revenue grew 20.2 percent year-over-year to approximately $7.1 billion. The world is increasingly moving to mobile, and for companies that are prepared to capitalize on the change, the potential for profit is huge.

US Government is Forcing Chinese Company Who Purchased Grindr to Sell

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Grindr has come under scrutiny in the last several weeks after Chinese company Beijing Kunlun Tech purchased a majority stake in the popular dating app in 2018. The U.S. government has demanded the new owners give up control of the company.

According to The Washington Post, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a government body charged with overseeing security threats to U.S. companies, has declared that the Grindr purchase is a threat to U.S. national security because of the risk posed to the privacy of users of the app.

Tinder Co-Founder Asks Court to Dismiss Match Group Suit

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Tinder Co-Founder Sean Rad is continuing his legal battle with Match Group by asking the court to dismiss the dating giant’s counter-lawsuit against him.

Rad, along with other former Tinder employees, filed a lawsuit against Tinder’s parent company last year, claiming that Match Group deliberately devalued their stock options to avoid paying billions of dollars in equity. Part of the evidence he cites is his email correspondence, which has become a sticky point for him and the lawsuit.

Serena Williams to Invest in New Bumble Fund

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Image: Bumble

Dating app Bumble has set its sights on partnering with prominent female leaders, including tennis champion Serena Williams. The company just announced that she will be an investor and active member of the new Bumble Fund, as well as a global ambassador for the brand.

The Bumble Fund is an investment fund started by Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd to help female entrepreneurs get support for their projects and businesses. It’s also a great way to market the company’s networking app Bumble Bizz. The Bumble Fund focuses on getting businesses started with initial funding, ranging anywhere from $5,000 to $250,000, primarily for businesses led by women of color and underrepresented groups.

The Meet Group Announces Acquisition Of Gay Social Networking App Growlr

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The Meet Group has acquired Growlr, a free dating platform for the gay bear community. Growlr joins MeetMe, Lovoo, Skout and Tagged in The Meet Group’s portfolio of mobile social entertainment apps, a move that marks the parent company’s first foray into the LGBTQ market.

The Meet Group acquired Growlr for $11.8 million using a combination of $4.8 million in cash and $7 million from its existing line of credit. The company pledged an additional $2 million to be paid in annual $1 million installments over the next years if certain revenue metrics are achieved. Geoff Cook, Chief Executive Officer of The Meet Group who co-founded the company as MyYearbook.com in 2005, called the deal “a meaningful step into the large same-sex dating market.”

Why VCs Are Wary Of Swiping Right On Dating Startups

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The dating industry remains a firm favorite for entrepreneurs who dream of founding the next breakout startup. But for many big-time investors, new dating platforms are risky ventures in a crowded market that may not be worth betting on. In honor of Valentine’s Day, Crunchbase News took a look at the relationship between startups, investors and the pursuit of finding a mate. Their status? It’s complicated.

Online dating has proved it can be an enormously profitable industry, yet despite producing impressive numbers, it often struggles to lure venture funding. “In 2018,” writes Joanna Glasner, “venture investors put $127 million globally into 27 startups categorized by Crunchbase as dating-focused. While that’s not chump change, it’s certainly tiny compared to the more than $300 billion in global venture investment across all sectors last year.”

Global venture investment in dating startups currently leans heavily toward companies based in China. Blued, a China-based dating app for gay men, received nearly 80 percent of dating-related capital in 2018. In 2017, Chinese mobile dating app Tantan received the bulk of dating investment. In 2014, Beijing-based matchmaking site Baihe raised a staggering $250 million.