Entrepreneur

Paktor Acquires US Dating App Down, Slingshots S'porean App Further Onto International Scene

Singapore’s dating app Paktor announced a new acquisition today, and it is none other than Down.

Down is not particularly prominent in Singapore, mainly because it is based in the US. However, perusers of dating app will most certainly heard of it before, simply because of how infamous its old name was. Not much mystery in what the app did, given the name “Bang With Friends”.

Oh, cue the collective gasps of our conservative Asian mindsets.

The rebranding must have done something good, if Singapore’s top dating app decided that it wanted to get in on some of that action.

Asia Hooks Up With The West

Image Credits: liveblog, Vulcan Post

The deal was closed just yesterday, and although details are not known, it seemed to run into at least several million.

This spells a win for Down CEO and founder Colin Hodge, who summed up the deal as an “unlikely exit” for the startup.

Considering that the app had to weather quite the number of storms, including being pulled from the Apple’s Store, I am inclined towards a congratulatory back pat for them having managed to survive it all.

This acquisition is especially significant for the online dating industry, given that most of them actually involve the Match Group (see Tinder and OKCupid).

One aspect that might be brought into concern is how Down’s business model might fit in with Paktor’s, which brands itself as a dating app as opposed to one for hook-ups.

According to TechCrunch, the acquisition does not change anything. Down will continue to run its services in Southeast Asia, but will not carry the Paktor name or brand. Meanwhile, Hodge will be joining the Paktor team to continue running dating apps Down and Sweet, as well as overseeing the Paktor Labs.

Is Paktor Going Towards Hookups?

No.

Their acquisition of Down does not imply that they will start going down that very slippery slope of casual hookups, so I’ll just have to hold back on the bow-chicka-wow-wow punchlines.

Instead, this acquisition marks a step towards their intentions for global domina- ahem, I mean expansion.

In 2015, Paktor had hired Jose Ruano and Miguel Mangas to spearhead expansion outside Asia from Spain, whose “expertise and passion in navigating and conquering new markets will be assets for [Paktor].”

So far the move has already seen the acquisition of Kickoff, a dating app for the Latin American community.

Similarly, in July 2016, a $10million funding had bolstered Paktor’s attempts to penetrate (haha) the South Korean and Japanese markets.

Finding Love Overseas

Specifically in North America.

Image Credit: Paktor Android

The acquisition has yet to come with news as to whether our local Paktor app will start bringing in the North American market. But it will certainly be something to look forward to.

I take the chance here to express a vicarious whoop of joy for the Paktor team. Given the relative youth of the startup, having just launched only in 2013, the startup has certainly made achievements in leaps and bounds.

Meanwhile, I await with bated breath the welcoming of USA onto their country list.

Featured Image Credit: techinasia, businessinsider

 

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