M17 Entertainment Group, a social media startup founded in Taiwan, announced today (May 22) that it has sold its dating service Paktor to Kollective Ventures (KV), a Singaporean capital advisory and investment firm, for an undisclosed sum.
Founded in 2013, Paktor runs a namesake dating app now available in Taiwan, Korea and Southeast Asia. The company also owns three other dating apps -- Down (US), Kickoff (Brazil), Goodnight (Taiwan) -- which it acquired in 2017 to increase its user base and form Paktor Labs, an accelerator for social apps with high potential.
This deal marks Kollective Ventures’s foray into full buyouts, extending beyond minority equity investments, according to Tech in Asia.
“Paktor is a rock solid asset with many high potential products under its wing,” Kheng Lian Ho, managing partner of KV, said. “The dating industry in Asia has been growing rapidly in recent years, [and] we look forward to announcing several growth initiatives in the near future.”
Best known as Tinder’s major rival in Asia, Paktor aims to gain a stronger foothold in the voice and video dating space after the acquisition. “With KV, [we] will be well-positioned to strengthen our business focus on dating innovations in Asia and to gain more autonomy on resources utilization,” the company says.
A series of great moves
In 2016, Paktor has raised a $32.5 million funding round led by K2Global, a VC firm based in Silicon Valley and Singapore, which precedes its acquisition of three social dating apps.
In 2017, Paktor announced its merger with live-streaming company 17 Media to form a new parent company M17 Entertainment Group, where its founder Joseph Phua now serves as the CEO, and combine all assets under the same entity.
However, earlier in 2020, it has been revealed that Paktor, along with the other dating apps, is no longer part of the M17 Entertainment Group. After the structural change, the group switches gears to focus on its live-streaming business, which accounts for over 90% of its revenue.
In response to the acquisition, M17 Group says Paktor will be able to develop its dating business with greater flexibility and financial strength; the group says it’s no longer a shareholder.
Since 2018, Paktor has reportedly been laying off its workforce, raising doubts about the company’s profitability. But M17 Group says the decisions were made after a series of evaluations regarding the group’s business operations and financial goals; it didn’t directly comment on Paktor’s financial situation, according to Business Next.
For its live-streaming business, M17 Group has raised a $26.5M Series D to grow in Japan, the US, and other emerging markets, including India and the Middle East, earlier this month.