Chinese mobile dating app Tantan has raised a $32 million USD series C funding from a group of investors, including LB Investment, Vision Capital (元璟资本), and DST Global. The latter is headed by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, whose investment portfolio includes big name tech companies, including Didi Chuxing, Xiaomi, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter.
“After this round of funding, we plan to continue focusing on [user] pain points, improving daily usage, and consolidating our position in the social application industry,” a PR spokesperson from Tantan told TechNode.
According to Tony Park, a Partner at LB Investment, some of the app’s future features include offering users the option to ask their matches out to lunch or to go for a walk. This will make it easier for matches to start a conversation and prevent matches from never talking to each other, he says.
Tantan claims it has 2.5 million active users, about 80% of which are part of China’s post-90’s generation. According to Chinese media, the male-to-female ratio on Tantan’s app is 6:4.
Founded in 2014, the Chinese app is almost identical to Tinder, down to its UI which lets users swipe left and right for potential matches. In 2015, the Beijing-based company came under fire when multiple security risks in the app were revealed by Hong Kong-based entrepreneur, Larry Salibra. By reverse-engineering the Chinese app, Mr. Salibra discovered that sensitive user data, including passwords and telephone numbers, were not encrypted and vulnerable to hackers. In addition, Mr. Salibra found a list of censored sexual keywords in the app, such as “meet for sex?” and “nude photo.”
China’s online dating scene has grown rapidly over the past few years with multiple companies jumping into the industry, including Momo, a location-based social app that has recently zeroed in on livestreaming to boost user interactivity. Last year, online dating platforms Baihe Network Co. and Jiayuan.com joined forces when a subsidiary of Baihe acquired Jiayuan, a dating service designed for “busy students and young professionals.” The platform monetizes through a paid messaging system as well as user subscriptions, which include value-added services like virtual gifts and higher search rankings.
It’s unclear how Tantan plans to monetize its app, which is currently free and offers no in-app purchases. According to a PR spokesperson from Tantan, the company’s current focus is not on generating profit. “We’ll focus on that around the end of this year after we’ve hit 7 to 10 million daily active users,” he said. If Tantan continues to follow Tinder’s lead, we can probably expect a paid version of Tantan – ‘Tantan Plus’ – in the near future.
Previously, Tantan raised a 13 million USD round of Series B funding from DCM, KPCB, and GX Capital (光信资本), and LB Capital, all of which returned to fund Tantan’s latest round of funding. In January, 2015, Tantan raised a 5 million USD round of Series A funding.
Update (5/19/2016 12:39): This post was updated to include a comment from Tony Park, a Partner at LB Investment. His comment includes more specific information about Tantan’s planned app features.