Dating app Once acquired by Dating Group for $18m

Once, the ‘slow dating’ app which only serves up one potential match for users each day, has been acquired by the Dating Group for $18m in cash and stock.

Once, founded in 2015, poses itself as an alternative to the more fast-paced and often superficial dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse each user’s information, dating preferences, and previous history in order to present one possible match each day. Each matched pair have 24 hours to decide if they wish to ‘like’ each other and continue the conversation.

The app’s Co-founder and CEO, Clémentine Lalande, will continue to lead the company under the ownership of the Dating Group.

“I am thrilled to join the Dating Group today, both because of their proven focus on post-swiping dating alternatives, and to leverage the huge synergies between Once and Dating Group,” said Lalande. “In such a concentrated and competitive market having a large partner will allow us to augment our reach and accelerate geographical expansion.”

The Dating Group’s portfolio of apps includes, DateMyAge, Dil Mil, Cherish, Tubit, AnastasiaDate, and ChinaLove, among others. Across these apps, it boasts more than 73m registered users.

“We strongly believe in the concept of AI and making quality matches. We see a huge potential in integrating Once into our portfolio,” said Bill Alena, Chief Investment Officer at Dating Group. “We’re excited to have Clémentine join Dating Group, she and her team have built a fascinating product and with this acquisition Dating Group expands deeper into the Western European market.”