It could be the best match during Valentine’s Day week for a Korean startup. Global online-dating company Match Group Inc. is set to acquire Korean startup Hyperconnect. The cash-and-stock deal worth $1.73 billion is Match Group’s largest acquisition that will broaden its services beyond dating connections.
Seoul-based Hyperconnect has developed two video apps that focus on helping people interact one-on-one and with new communities. The social media startup Hyperconnect’s first app, Azar, offers live video and audio chat and can instantly translate voice and text for users that speak different languages. Hyperconnect’s other app, Hakuna Live, is a social live-streaming app that provides group video and audio broadcasts.
The Covid-19 pandemic had boosted demand for online apps connecting people. Hyperconnect saw a rise in user base in 2020 and is projected to have $200 million revenue in 2020, almost 50% more than 2019. Hyperconnect’s Azar app has made it twice to the top-ten list of Europe’s topmost favoured apps in 2019 & 2020. It ranked 6th in revenue generation in 2020, according to data released by the mobile app market research company Sensor Tower regarding the European mobile market. Since its launch in 2014, Azar has got over 540 million cumulative downloads. While Hakuna Live, launched in 2019, has been downloaded more than 23 million times in South Korea and Japan.
Dallas-based Match group owns Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid and number of other dating platforms.”As more of our lives move online, people are looking for richer and deeper experiences,” said Shar Dubey, CEO of Match Group in a media statement. “Hyperconnect’s live video and audio engagement technology is a powerful tool that enables users to connect with new people and cultures on a global basis. Hyperconnect’s engineering team is relentlessly imaginative and creative. With more than 75% of usage and revenue coming from markets spread across Asia, their product suite and regional footprint squarely complements our own. We will leverage our deep bench of expertise to help accelerate Hyperconnect’s already-impressive growth, look to deploy Hyperconnect’s technologies across our existing portfolio, and continue to invest in their growth,” Dubey added.