Russia-centric Japanese VC firm United Managers Japan’s UMJ Russia Fund is in the lead in a new round of funding for Russian online dating portal teamo.ru. The UMJ portion of the funding has been pegged as high as USD 1 mln, with the total funding for the company to date hitting twice that amount. The fresh round of investments will be used to market the product and expand its user base.
Teamo.ru was launched in 2010 with the objective of providing an avenue for users to develop serious relationships using their portal as a starting point. Based on a subscription model, the portal now has 300,000 monthly users and 700,000 registered accounts. Initial seed investments for the company came from Fast Lane Ventures and the German eVenture Capital, backed by the Otto Group.
Brief Overview: Internet Dating Industry
Teamo.ru is in stiff competition with other online dating portals from around the globe. Match.com that has started business back in 1995 using Myers-Briggs test for selecting the ideal dating-candidates and soon became the market leader in the online dating industry. Another example of a pioneering dating portal that kept its leading position is speeddate.com, which combines online dating with the practice of speed dating. The site has had support from funds like Menlo Ventures in the past, which invested USD 6 mln in the series B round.
A surprise entry in this category is woome.com, which has attracted USD 20 mln from top investment houses like Index, Mangrove and Atomico even though its reputation is suspect. In late 2011 woome.com has been acquired by zooks.com an other dating portal that provides social online dating experience.
Meetic.com is one of the top European online dating services for the internet and mobile phones. With 25.4 mln registered profiles, it is available in 16 countries and 12 languages. Meetic manages 7 different online social networking products bundled into one.
Teamo.ru’s rivals in the Russian dating site industry include the largest, Mamba, which generated revenues in excess of USD 41 mln during the last financial year. Another fast-growing online dating service operating in Russia is Flirtic, which last year raised USD 1 mln from the Almaz Capital Russia Fund.