Dating app Paktor moves into social entertainment with first acquisition

Dating app Paktor moves into social entertainment with first acquisition

Marking its first acquisition, Singapore-based dating app Paktor said on Thursday (Dec 8) that it has agreed to buy a controlling stake in Taiwanese start-up 17 Media.

SINGAPORE: Singapore-based dating app Paktor announced on Thursday (Dec 8) that it has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Taiwanese start-up 17 Media, which owns a photo-sharing and live streaming app that has over 15 million users worldwide.

The deal marks Paktor's first acquisition and comes as the homegrown start-up looks to diversify into the social entertainment space.

According to the press release, 17 Media will receive a "substantial cash injection" to accelerate the regional growth of its 17 app by strengthening content production and partnerships, as well as adding further enhancements to the live streaming platform. No other financial details of the deal were disclosed.

Following the acquisition, Paktor Group CEO Joseph Phua will take on the role of CEO at 17 Media, while Mr Jeffrey Huang, founder of 17 Media, will remain as chairman.

Mr Phua described the acquisition as "a significant milestone" for Paktor, which will help to expand the 17 app into its existing markets. “17 Media is a pioneer and leader in the social entertainment industry which has seen explosive growth recently, and yet is still relatively nascent," he said.

"With this deal, 17 app gains access to a platform with a large and growing consumer base in Asia, a proven management team and a solid foundation to take it to the next level” said Mr Huang, an American-born Taiwanese rapper turned entrepreneur.

Best known as the founder of hip-hop groups LA Boyz and Machi, Mr Huang ventured into the start-up scene in 2015. Earlier in June, 17 Media raised US$10 million (about S$14 million) in a Series A funding round led by Infinity Venture Partners and Prometheus Capital.

Paktor, co-founded by Mr Phua in July 2013, is a mobile dating app which offers users to find partners by swiping right to “like” potential matches or left to "reject". The app, which has often drawn comparisons to its US rival Tinder, has amassed around 15 million users and operates in six Southeast Asian countries and Taiwan. Paktor's services also include an offline bespoke matchmaking arm, GaiGai, which it started in late 2014.

Source: CNA/sk