Matrimonial portal Shaadi.com owner People Group has acquired about 25% stake in dating applications maker Thrill in a cash and stock deal valued at close to $1 million (about Rs 6 crore 13 lakhs). With this Mumbai-based people group has merged its dating platform Fropper with with Delhi-based Thrill Applications.
“We have combined our dating business Fropper with Thrill, making it the largest entity in the online dating space in India from users and revenue perspective,” said Anupam Mittal, founder and chief executive of People Group.
Founded in 2012 by Americans Devin Serago and Josh Israel, who later relocated to Delhi to start the company Thrill which is a dating app available for iOS & Android users. Thrill, which claims to have had over 1,00,000 downloads of its app in India, will now get over six million members from Fropper.
“Fropper generates cash of over Rs 1.5 crore a year which we will plough back into growing both platforms,” said Josh Israel, 28, a US-born Indian who moved to Delhi three years ago.
With the stake acquisition, Shaadi plans to reduce the product development life cycle for Thrill.
Thrill, which is solely focused on the Indian market, competes with other dating apps like Tinder and Krush. What makes Thrill different is that it is controlled by women. While men can apply to join, they can only begin using the app if the women on the network approve.
In May 2013, Thrill has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Samir Bangara, a former managing director (digital) at the Walt Disney Company in India and currently the CEO of Qyuki.com, and Rajesh Kamat, CA Media’s Indian operations head, as well as from a couple of unnamed Singapore-based investors.