SEA dating app Paktor secures Series A, amount undisclosed
By Digital News Asia November 19, 2014
- Says latest round brings total amount it has raised to over US$5mil in last 12mths
- To expand into Malaysia, looking to expand offline services to other markets too
SINGAPORE-based Paktor, which styles itself the ‘Tinder of South-East Asia,’ said it has closed a Series A investment round.
It did not disclose the amount, only describing it as the “largest funding ever received by a South-East Asian startup in the mobile dating industry,” and said the Series A brings the total amount it has raised to over US$5 million in the last 12 months.
Tech Crunch estimates the latest round to be more than US$3 million, since it previously closed a US$500,000 round and a US$1.3-million seed round.
The Series A investment was led by Temasek Holdings subsidiary Vertex Venture Holdings, which has also invested in GrabTaxi and Reebonz, Paktor said in a statement.
The funding will be used to expand Paktor’s services into new territories like Malaysia (within the next quarter), increase product offerings such as offline events and premium personal services, and bring the Paktor experience from mobile to desktop.
There will also be investment in new talent as the brand grows larger and expands into new markets, the company said.
“Our vision is to connect users with new people,” said cofounder and chief executive officer Joseph Phua (pic).
“Whatsapp, WeChat and Line connect you with people you already know. We create genuine connections for you with people around you whom you may have seen but not met yet.
“This is where Paktor can help make a difference in today’s connected society,” he added.
The company said that since the app’s launch in 2013, it has garnered over 1.5 million registered users, with Phua claiming over two billion swipes and 40 million matches made through Paktor in South-East Asia.
“Paktor has shown tremendous growth since its inception in 2013 and we are confident that it will continue to dominate the industry in South-East Asia,” said Vertex Venture managing director and chief investment officer Chua Joo Hock.
“We support companies that not only have potential, but have a proven record of success, so our decision to invest in Paktor shows our commitment to this relationship. We are confident it will utilise this funding to grow even further,” he added.
Paktor means ‘going dating’ in Cantonese, though in street parlance in some parts of Malaysia, it also implies a certain degree of physical intimacy – the American equivalent of ‘second base.’
Paktor said it also intends to venture into the physical space with a brand new offline business arm called GaiGai, which means ‘going out’ in Cantonese.
GaiGai offers a physical channel to bring users together through its one-to-one matchmaking services and social dating events. The matchmaking service uses a proprietary algorithm derived from studying user behaviour from more than the two billion swipes on the Paktor app up to date.
GaiGai also organises exclusive social events for its members to create more opportunities to mingle. The service is tailored specially for busy singles looking to meet new people, and includes image and personality consulting workshops to help singles bring out their best during their dates.
The service is currently only available in Singapore, with plans to expand into new markets at a later date, Paktor said in its statement.
The Paktor team has also invested in and added a desktop/ web version (currently in beta), allowing people to use Paktor on any platform they choose.
This new offering will increase accessibility for audiences in emerging markets where smartphone penetration is still at its infancy stage or where mobile data packages may restrict the download and use of mobile apps, it said.
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