TECHNODE – Jan 16 – Shanghai-based Renyimen Technology launched Soul App in late 2016. While most dating apps let users browse a feed of profile pictures to find matches, Soul App employs a mix of personality and interest tests to sort users. It then uses machine learning to generate pools of members with similar values and interests for users to choose from. Users cannot see any personal information of others, besides their test match score and their public posts. Soul App closed a $60M Series C led by GGV Capital in Dec 2018. In January 2018, the company raised tens of million dollars in a Series B from DST Global, Genesis Capital, and Morningside Venture Capital. Soul App has ~10M monthly active users.
by Tony Xu
See full article at Technode
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ADAGE – Jan 15 – Twitter says it suspended Grindr, the gay dating app, from its ad network after a report revealed privacy concerns with how the app shared personal data with marketing partners. The new report, commissioned by the Norwegian Consumer Council, alleged that Grindr transmitted personal information on its ~3M daily users worldwide to ad tech partners, including Twitter’s MoPub, which is a mobile ad network that helps apps make money by filling their ad inventory. The report also names other advertising platforms OpenX and AppNexus, which help brands bid on ads through platforms like MoPub to appear on apps like Grindr. The report calls for a fines of Twitter, OpenX, AppNexus and Grindr. Under the GDPR, the maximum fine for a violation is up to 4% of annual revenue. In Twitter’s case, that would amount to $120M, based on $3B revenue from 2018.
by Garett Sloane
See full article at AdAge
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MEDIAPOST – Jan 15 – That’s according to App Annie’s latest State of Mobile report, which found that social and communication apps maintained a dominant 50% share of time spent among the world’s mobile users in 2019. Relative to time spent with other app categories, that was only down by 6% since 2016. Social and communication apps also remain a hot commodity. In 2019, consumers downloaded 9.5B such apps, and spent 25% more time using them than they did in 2017. Worldwide app downloads totaled 204B in 2019, which was up by 45% since 2016, the app analytics firm found.
by Gavin O’Malley
See full article at Media Post
FOX BUSINESS – Jan 15 – ~4M students are looking for generous partners through dating site Seeking Arrangement to help pay for some or part of their school bills. Of that, 62%, or 2.48M, are students in the U.S, according to the company. The site recently released its list of schools nationwide with the largest growth in new profiles. The annual list has been published as millions of Americans owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. Students are the top profession of „sugar babies“ and 30% of sugar babies use gifts from sugar daddies and mommies to pay for tuition and other school-related expenses. Georgia State University, University of Central Florida and the University of Alabama claimed the top three spots on SeekingArrangment Sugar University.
by Matthew McGrath
See full article at Yahoo Finance
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BLOOMBERG – Jan 13 – Credit Suisse Group AG has stopped working on the upcoming U.S. IPO of Chinese gay dating app Blued. Credit Suisse joins other investment firms, including Citigroup and Bank of America that in recent months have dropped off the U.S. debuts of high-profile Chinese companies. It wasn’t clear why Credit Suisse dropped off Blued’s IPO, but it did so before the company filed publicly. Founded in 2012 by former policeman Geng, Blued has become an icon for the Chinese LGBTQ community and attracted ~$130M in venture capital as of March last year. Besides providing dating services to 40M users, the app also offers live streaming and connects men who want to become parents with overseas surrogates. Blued has said it’s eyeing an IPO ideally in the U.S., which offers a simpler process and deeper capital markets.
by Julia Fioretti & Lulu Yilun Chen
See full article at Bloomberg
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