The Corona virus is now a global pandemic, and most countries in the world are heading to lock down. Social distancing is now the new buzz word, and everyone is recommended to stay at home. However, this has not stopped people from flocking to online social entertainment apps, and dating, in particular.
Dating is also proving to be resilient in investor's eyes too. Match Group - The parent company of Tinder now has market value of $17 billion. With a PE ratio of 33X at time of writing, Match is one of the most highly valued public Internet companies. This is not just a unique occurrence. U.S. private equity giant Blackstone recently took controlling stake in Magic Lab, parent company of dating apps Bumble and Badoo, at a valuation of $3billion, more than six times revenue.
According to AppAnnie, in Sep 2019, a new dating app Lamour debuted in top 10 most downloaded global non-game apps. The monthly download volume of Lamour reached 3.5 million in Sep 2019, with 53% market in share amongst Indian dating apps, cementing its #1 position.
App Annie's analysis on Lamour specifically pointed to video chat, virtual gifts, and location based networking as the reasons why Lamour was able to get a pole position in India. Based on Lamour's own user survey in Nov 2019, more than 50% of users came to Lamour via word of mouth referral, which speaks to the strength of the Lamour product and experience.
India is now an important market for online social and entertainment, data from the World Bank shows Indian population reached 1.339 billion, with a male-female ratio of 52:48. The demographic imbalance is much more pronounced among Internet mobile users, with females making up only one third of 451 million monthly active online users, according to a report by the Internet mobile association of India in 2019 (IAMAI).
Based on Lamour's own user survey in Nov 2019, we see that 75% of Lamour's users are below age 25, and nearly 50% are students. This fits in well with the fast growing young demographics in India market.
In addition, the survey revealed that only 16% of users are looking for marriage on Lamour, which on one hand, is a natural result of the young segment of users, but on other, shows that young Indians are now less bound by the traditional arranged marriage customs.
Central to success of Lamour is the principle of "true localization". The "true localization" is not only to have the app in local languages, but also to have local operation ability, and deep understanding of local culture, society, market and users, in order to have the best user experience.
The Indian market is poised to grow into the largest mobile market in the world, and Lamour as a young app, has great potential. How will Lamour grow with the market, and is Lamour able to monetize in India? These are the key questions facing any fast growing app in India, and we will be watching Lamour closely.