Archive for April, 2012
This is great news for companies like theComplete.me that are moving away from subscription fees for online dating and instead embracing micro-transactions.
There was a little gem that we almost missed yesterday in Facebook’s amended IPO filing. But it looks like Facebook acknowledged that it may have to move away from a 30 percent revenue share with app developers if it expands Credits, its virtual currency, and payments beyond gaming.
If Facebook cuts its 30 percent revenue share for music or media apps, the choice will set it apart from other platforms. Right now, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google are all warring with each other to become predominant vendors of digital content on the web and on mobile.
So here’s a reminder of what everyone is doing: Apple does a flat 30 percent revenue share for iOS. Google does a 30 percent revenue share for Android, but a 5 percent revenue share for games on Google+. Amazon has an unusual arrangement where it controls app pricing and it either keeps 30 percent of what it sells the app for or 80 percent of what the developer intended to sell it for (whichever is lower).
Brian Bowman, CEO theComplete.me, to keynote on Social Discovery at iDate LA: The Mobile Dating Industry Conference0
New York, NY–Ticonderoga Ventures, Inc. announces that Brian Bowman will provide the keynote address at the 9th annual iDate West Coast Mobile Dating Conference. The event takes place on June 20-22, 2012 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.
Bowman is the CEO/Founder of theComplete.me (www.thecomplete.me), the Internet’s first social dating network. He is the former VP of Product Match.com, VP of Community Yahoo!, and CMO Reply.com. Bowman is a recognized authority on social networking, online dating and acquisition marketing.
Bowman’s ability to foresee the directional shifts of the dating industry, coupled with his deep understanding of product and community, uniquely qualifies him to keynote the event. In it, he will describe how the dating industry is broadening into social discovery, moving from PC to mobile, sharing implications to business models, user experience and acquisition marketing strategies.
If Facebook itself isn’t a covert dating site, then at least its social graph could be — a big group of startups have been going for this honeypot of user data and connections ever since the company launched its platform back in 2007. Few have really taken off, and incumbent dating sites like the not-so-social Match.com have continued to hold mindshare with date-seekers.
This is where theComplete.me sees the opportunity. The company quietly launched a Facebook app in March that pulls in and analyzes data from Facebook and other social sites to figure out who you might be a good fit with — and goes way beyond most rivals in its effort to undermine the incumbents.
Led by Brian Bowman, the former vice president of product at Match.com, it’s also announcing a large $1.22 million seed round from Intel Capital, psuedo-rival dating site PlentyofFish (a strategic investor in this case), the CrunchFund, and a list of prominent angels.
Here’s a closer look at what’s getting all these online dating pros so interested.
The app first has you sign on with your Facebook identity, then it shows you a list of people who may have interests in common in a Pinterest-style interface. Your own profile data is organized into a feature called “fraMEs,” — pinned frames that show categories such as Liked Facebook pages, that can be easily edited beyond the pre-populated Facebook data.
A top row of thumbnails shows other Facebook users in the app that theComplete.me has determined are potential matches for you. Clicking on them reveals the things you have in common, also Pinterest style — including the ability to comment on Page-based interests like Neil Young or the Outside Lands music festival.
But there’s a lot going on under the surface. Matches are based on a wide range of factors including people you view, who people like you view and correspond with, the number of messages you send and receive from people, and other behavioral data. The product also figures out generally shared interests, like if you and another person both like action movies, because you each have Liked the page for the movie The Matrix, for example.
The app goes further than Facebook, too. Once you’re logged in, you can also connect with LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Photobucket, Flickr, Foursquare, GoodReads, and Instagram. It then pulls in unique data about you from each service (who follows you on Twitter, the types of places you check in on Foursquare) to figure out even richer matches. In private beta testing so far, it has amassed some 1.5 million profiles of users and their friends, which is already helping to shape recommendations.
It also pulls off a very clever move to disrupt the utility dating sites, that I haven’t seen done by any of its rivals. Users can provide the IDs to their profiles on other sites, including Match.com, eHarmony, Zoosk and other big ones. You can see the results in aggregate if you click on the “Dating Sites” link of the top “Search People” tab in the app. You get direct, free access to other users of these dating sites because you can just message them through the app/Facebook. No need to pay the one-time or monthly fees that Match.com and others charge.
Read the rest of the TechCrunch article here
Thrilled to be speaking tonight at the Funders & Founders event. The event will be streaming live tonight at 7:50pm PST.
Schedule of Events
- 7:50pm – Mark Brooks introduces the current state of Online Dating
- 7:55pm – Shayan Zadeh, Zoosk co-CEO speaks on the Future of Online Romance
- 8:00pm – Brian Bowman, CEO the Complete.me speaks on the future on online dating
- 8:05pm – Will Bunker, CEO Oneandonly.com (which sold to Match) speaks on the future of dating
After the speeches, a team of investors will question and advise founders of online dating startups. If you want to present your startup to 800 funders and founders APPLY HERE.
theComplete.me Social Dating Network Raises $1.25 Million Seed Round Including Intel Capital, PlentyOfFish, CrunchFund, and Prominent Angels0
San Francisco, CA—April 16, 2012—Recently launched social dating network, theComplete.me™ (www.theComplete.me), announced today a $1.25 million seed round which includes Intel Capital, PlentyOfFish, and CrunchFund, with prominent angel investors: Russ Siegelman; Ben T. Smith IV; Social Starts, LLC; Spark Unlimited, Inc.; Parker Coddington; Kevin Henrikson; Ali Jahangiri; William Lohse; and Konstantin Othmer. The company will use the funding to support customer acquisition efforts, continue to build key site features, launch a mobile product and grow the team.
“We are thrilled to have distinguished investors Intel Capital and CrunchFund, as well as PlentyOfFish, the global leader in online dating, join our seed round and support our mission to socialize online dating with real identities, comprehensive privacy controls and matching through shared interests and mutual friends,” said Brian Bowman, theComplete.me™ Founder and CEO. Formerly Vice President Product at Match.com, and Vice President Community at Yahoo!, Bowman has recruited key online dating industry executives for theComplete.me’s™ startup team and Board of Advisors.
“theComplete.me™ is the first service to get social network dating right,” said Christine Herron, Investment Director, Intel Capital. “They leverage the unique capabilities of the social graph to drive not only personalized discovery, but also friction-free interaction between users.”
“We believe online dating is ready for a major disruption,” said Markus Frind, CEO PlentyOfFish. “-and we like the unique approach tried by thecomplete.me.”
“Online dating is a stagnant industry begging to be disrupted,” said Michael Arrington, Partner, CrunchFund. “theComplete.me™—this team and this product—are going to do that.”
theComplete.me™ leverages the social and interest graph of eight social networks, and allows users to maintain anonymity while pulling in their many interests from around the Web, to create a visual and interest-rich dating profile. Members customize a FraME™, a collage of images and videos, for each of their interest areas. FraMEs™ commonly represent a member’s likes, affiliations, aspirations and friend connections.
Unlike traditional dating services, theComplete.me™ members can use their real social identities on the site and are offered complete privacy control over what, when, and with whom, they share. Each member earns a .Me Score™, based on the degree to which they have shared, and the likeliness of authenticity. This combination of interest matching and identity auditing helps singles make meaningful and informed connections.
theComplete.me™ is a social dating network where singles discover people who share their true interests and mutual friends. Founded by Brian Bowman (CEO), former VP Product Match.com & VP Community Yahoo!, and Shashikant Joshi (CTO), former Founder/CTO Perfode, theComplete.me startup team and Board of Advisors include Fran Maier, Co-founder of Match.com, Trish McDermott, former VP Public Relations Match.com, and other former Match.com and Internet executives. Early investors include: Intel Capital; PlentyOfFish; CrunchFund; Russ Siegleman; Ben T. Smith IV; Social Starts, LLC; Spark Unlimited, Inc.; Parker Coddington; Kevin Henrikson; Ali Jahangiri; William Lohse; and Konstantin Othmer.
# # #
Contact: Trish McDermott, theComplete.me