Off the dating market

Beyond its existing users, dating services benefit from tailwinds such as an untapped market, increasing millennial spending power, young people delaying life.
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NIFTY 50 10, 1. Drag according to your convenience. Dating apps may not be a top 10 city trend in India. According to the latest census, in , 85 million urban Indians were considered single, potentially looking for partners. The number represented a market waiting to be acquired, hooked on and then monetised. It was also around this time that online dating was peaking in the West, with a mix of startups such as Tinder , and well established companies in OkCupid or even Match.

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India, though never a priority market, was just about getting started. A vast number of urban singles, shunning stigma and societal denouncements, were ready to date online. Slowly, but surely, armed with the ubiquitous smartphone, apps became the norm. And then, the likes of Aisle, TrulyMadly and iCrushiFlush took the plunge into the million market with contrasting business models.

Five years down the line, there is some evidence these companies might be earning money. Statista also says sectoral revenue is expected to show a compounded annual growth rate of Primarily because, Indians, for now, are happy to consume free online products but seriously hesitant when subscriptionbased payment models are thrown up. However, there are some who do not mind shelling out a few hundred to at least try and find their best match.


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Tinder, for instance, is the third largest grossing app on Android in India, with industry estimates placing its monthly revenues anywhere between Rs crore. That said, the best may well be yet to come, say some founders, especially with the surge in language-first internet users expected over the next few years. The success of these apps will come from the number of authentic female profiles on the apps and how much time users spend on these apps.

But things are changing for the better. Happn is focusing on Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur and Lucknow beyond the big cities. It is about getting you to spend time on the platform. This business also works on successful failures. So, imagine Raj speaks to Simran virtually but never meets her. He tries a few times but then moves on to another platform to meet a different woman.

Companies lose revenue since repeat orders make money. This time, they know that there is a chance of success. They stay on the app, keep subscribing, keep swimming and thus, keep buying new and expensive packs. We noticed that if a girl, however, messages him back, the user tends to stay there for at least seven months. Wolfe Herd has proved to be a gifted entrepreneur in her own right, but she created Bumble with the help of Andrey Andreev, a London-based Russian billionaire entrepreneur and the founder of Badoo.

For a few years, Tinder and Bumble coexisted—and were even reported to be in on-and-off acquisition talks last year—but things recently turned testy. In March, Match, which was recently granted patents related to the swipe and the design of the Tinder app, filed its suit against Bumble, accusing it of patent infringement and stealing trade secrets. Four days after the Match filing, Bumble fired back with an angry letter it published on its blog and in the New York Times.

They also suggest that the Match lawsuit may have been a tactic to ramp up pressure on Bumble to do a deal. Ginsberg declined to comment on acquisition talks or their timing, citing a nondisclosure agreement. She says the lawsuit was simply about intellectual property. Research suggests the majority of singles—especially women—would not want to use Facebook for dating, she told investors.

Users have concerns over both privacy and engaging in dating activities in the same place where they share updates with family and friends, she said. She also points out that the dating business is not as easy as it might seem.


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  7. While Match has reams of cards and thank-you notes hung around its headquarters for every wedding and child it helped create, it also hears from plenty of users who have had bad dates and blame the company. How does that psychology play in with the relationship they have with their core product?

    Match has found that when it has gone into new overseas markets where people are already comfortable with Facebook, it reduces the barrier to entry for online dating. On average, people use three dating products at any given time. I find myself missing the thoughtful, epistolary correspondence of email-based dating, which, compared with this, feels almost Victorian.

    How online dating companies make money in India

    I signed up for Bumble, for instance, while visiting friends in Boston and immediately matched with Bostonians—and then, on the Amtrak ride home, with eligible singles all up and down the New England coast. Compared with the Match. On Tinder, I saw a few couples looking for a threesome and a handful of married men looking for something on the side. But I found that if I was patient enough and kept swiping, there did seem to be a supply of eligible matches in my general demographic. During my research for this story, someone suggested that I try the dating site Hinge, which had recently retooled itself to focus more on relationships, noting that it has seen a spike in use among New Yorkers.

    In the earlys, after graduating from UC—Berkeley, Ginsberg decided to spend the summer as a counselor on a teen tour to Israel, with the intent of returning to her native Dallas afterward.

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    But while on the trip, she fell in love with the Israeli tour guide, stayed, and ended up marrying him, starting her career at software companies in Tel Aviv. The couple returned to the U. When she got into the prestigious Wharton School, she and her husband, now with a 1-year-old daughter, relocated to Philadelphia.

    I have to figure this out. Through day care, babysitters, and persuading her study groups to use her house as their gathering spot, she figured it out. She and her ex-husband have remained on good terms.

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    But after she graduated came an even bigger setback: Her mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Ginsberg moved back to Dallas to care for her, adjusting her career plans and taking a job at a small software company. Her mother died a few years later—and soon after, Ginsberg tested positive for the BRCA gene, making her much more likely to suffer the same fate. Over the following several years, she had a mastectomy, an oophorectomy removal of the ovaries , and a hysterectomy, all while she was climbing the ranks at Match.

    A major bright spot: She met her second husband at her previous job at the software company and was able to have her second daughter before undergoing the surgeries. As difficult as they were, Ginsberg says she took a lot from the experiences.

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    In , she joined Chemistry. Ginsberg had little experience running a business, but the company was looking for someone who understood PR, marketing, and, in particular, psychology around women. Those around Ginsberg describe her as confident and low-ego, with an encyclopedic knowledge of the industry and a gift for spotting and nurturing talent—a relevant strength in a company with so many autonomously managed brands. Her senior management team consists almost entirely of people Ginsberg brought in over the years.

    Ginsberg also says she feels the significance of being a woman CEO at a dating and technology company.

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    The online dating world has been rife with abuse, and much like Wolfe Herd at Bumble, she feels an obligation to think about the female perspective when it comes to the user experience.