Britain may be about to trigger Article 50, but here at M14 we still love EU! In fact we’re getting rather excited about our upcoming European Dating Conference! One of the speakers flying over from the US is MeetMe CEO Geoff Cook, who had an exciting announcement last week. This week we also chat to European Dating Awards winner Tim Taylor of Free Dating Platform about the company’s recent changes.

And there is change across the entire industry. This week Trueview, Lively and Grindr have all announced new features, and Bumble let slip news of a move in a rather different direction, mixing URL with IRL.

Enjoy!

– Charly


The 5 Minute Interview  –
Tim Taylor, Free Dating Platform

Every fortnight we interview an inspirational member of the dating industry.

This week we talked to Tim Taylor, Founder of FDP Ventures.

You had a pretty successful funding round recently.  What advice would you offer anyone looking for investment at the moment?

That’s tricky as everyone’s looking for something different when it comes to investment, but I believe these points hold true for anyone:

  • Work out your revenue streams as quickly as possible. Our business model changed enormously over the past 12 months, but because we were generating cash from day one, we were never under pressure to raise finance. We were able to do so when we were ready, and on our terms.
  • Focus on trends not fads. The “trend” in our industry is that more people are dating on their mobiles and for free. The “fad” is swiping or what’s being offered by the “me too” apps out there. If you have a single product that answers a “fad”, then you’re going to find it tough to get investment.
  • In dating, you need a user base, so work out how you’re going to get it before you spend anything on the tech. Think about partnering with companies like FDP to seed your database and help get it off the ground.
  • Don’t be precious. Do deals with as many people and companies as you can to get cash flowing through your company.

To read the rest of Tim’s interview, including how you can get involved with FDP, check out the M14 Industries blog.

FDP won the Innovation in Dating Award at last year’s European Dating Awards.  For your chance to win one of the prestigious Awards, head to eurodatingawards.com/nominate
Standard entries will close on March 31st.

Bumble Announce Safe Space Plan

Speaking at the first Girl Boss Rally in LA earlier this month, Bumble’s Samantha Fulgham revealed the app’s plan to provide safe spaces for Bumble dates and connections to meet.  The female-led app recently moved into the friendship space, with Bumble BFF, and is soon to launch Bumble Biz for business connections.  Fulgham, the company’s Director of College Marketing, explained that Bumble will create live spaces allowing connections to meet safely and easily in real life.

Speaking in place of Whitney Wolfe, who had to cancel due to a family emergency, Fulgham also spoke of Bumble’s ‘Bee-tique’ – an online shop which will sell complimentary products by partner brands.


MeetMe acquires if(we)

MeetMe continue their acquisitive streak, buying if(we) – home to social networks Tagged and Hi5- for $60 million.  MeetMe CEO Geoff Cook will be talking about the acquisition in Amsterdam.


Matchbox ignites interest from Facebook

Dating app ‘Matchbox’ has been selected by Facebook for its early-stage startup mentorship programme FbStart.
The app connects users based on their music tastes, playlists and favourite artists.  It currently has less than 5,000 downloads.  Interestingly ‘Matchbox’ was an early name suggested for Tinder, however it was deemed too close to Match.com.


New App Features

This week Zoosk’s Lively announced the addition of ‘Quickies’, Trueview introduced ‘sparking’ and Grindr added a vocabulary of over 500 ‘gaymojis’.


If you have a story you think should feature in a future edition of this newsletter please contact Charly at [email protected]

 

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