The dating tech-giant behind Tinder, Match.com and PlentyOfFish is making a bold pass at the marriage market, launching a new app for couples looking to get hitched quick.
Match Group is launching Pairs Engage in the Japanese market, offering a service tailored to the keen beans of the dating scene, who are looking to say ‘I do’ within a mere 12 months.
Chief executive of Match Group Mandy Ginsberg announced the new venture in the company’s Q2 2019 earnings conference call late last week.
In the call, Ginsberg cited a survey that found 40% of relationships in the US start online. The survey also found that those relationships were no more or less successful than those that start in the more traditional, old-fashioned way.
That study, she said, reinforces the trend Match has seen in western markets. Tinder now has some 5.2 million subscribers — 1.5 million more than this time last year.
“We firmly believe this trend [is] poised to sweep Asian and Middle Eastern markets also,” Ginsberg said.
In 2015, Match acquired Japanese dating app developer Eureka, and its Pairs product.
Now, Pairs is a market leader in Japan, Ginsberg explained.
The new Pairs Engage product will “leverage technology to serve the local matrimony market”, disrupting an industry that has so far been conducted largely offline.
It appears the new app is designed to bypass the courting process and commitment conversations, allowing like-minded couples to cut to the chase and hotfoot it down the aisle.
The app will offer “a more efficient and less expensive service geared to those who are highly motivated and want to get married within a year”, Ginsberg said.
Something old, something new
This is part of a wider push into new geographies for Match Group.
The company has also acquired a majority stake in Harmonica, an app designed in Egypt to improve the matchmaking process there.
Harmonica was developed by an entrepreneur who saw friends and family go through the traditional arranged marriage process, and set out to modernise it.
“Young people want to meet others with similar backgrounds and values. The shift is now they want to choose their partner versus having their partners chosen for them,” Ginsberg said.
There’s an audience of young, single Muslims “and, today, dating products don’t adequately address their needs”, she added.
Now, Match will be working on building out Harmonica to develop a product that better serves Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
“There is no denying the opportunity in front of us,” Ginsberg said.
“We’re moving quickly to ensure that we capitalise on this opportunity as the market evolves.”