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Tinder parent company Match Group acquires Egypt’s Harmonica

Featured image: Harmonica co-founder and CEO Sameh Saleh (Supplied)

US online dating services provider Match Group has acquired Egyptian matchmaking app Harmonica.

Harmonica — which announced the acquisition in a statement earlier today — was founded in 2017 by CEO Sameh Saleh (pictured above), Tamer Saleh, Shaymaa Ali and Aly Khaled.

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As part of the deal 12 of Harmonica’s employees will join Match Group to help the group serve Match Group’s Muslim customers globally.

In addition, Saleh will continue as Harmonica CEO. This, while the startup will retain its Cairo headquarters.

Harmonica co-founder Sameh Saleh will stay on as CEO, while 12 of its employees will join Match Group

This effectively makes it Match Group’s first office in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

It’s not clear how much Match Group paid to acquire the startup, or when the deal was concluded. However, the deal will also see Harmonica’s early investors Flat6Labs and 500 Startup exit their investments in the startup.

Ventureburn sought comment from Harmonica on how much it was acquired for and other questions on the startup’s operations but had not received comment at the time of publication.

In its statement, Harmonica said more details on the deal will be revealed in a press conference that will be held on 26 August at the Greek Campus in Cairo.

Match Group CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa as well as Asia and the Pacific Alexandre Lubot, Flat6Labs Cairo CEO Ramez El-Serafy and Harmonica’s founding team will speak at the briefing.

Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg, commenting in the same statement, pointed to the sizeable population of young singles across Asia and the Middle East who are search of life partners, but who are not properly served by Western products.

“The Harmonica team is not only smart and innovative, but has built a highly differentiated and technologically impressive product that, although early stage, truly understands the needs of this culture.

“We believe we’ve found great talent, with local expertise and insights that will help us further succeed in our international expansion strategy,” said Ginsberg.

‘Facilitated hundreds of marriages’

Saleh explained that Harmonica’s founders had launched the app with their “sisters, cousins and friends in mind”, with the goal of helping them find “a perfect partner”.

“It was critical that what we built was something to protect them and represent the values that our community cares deeply about. It was also important that our parents would be comfortable with them using our app.

“We’ve already facilitated hundreds of marriages just in Egypt and believe that with Match Group’s vast experience, there are exciting opportunities ahead,” he added.

$180k raised previously

According to US business intelligence platform Crunchbase, prior to its acquisition Harmonica had raised $180 000 in funding over two rounds. It’s latest deal was a $150 000 investment by 500 Startups in April last year.

At the time, tech publication Menabytes reported in an article that Harmonica had more than 70 000 users.

Last year, Harmonica was one of two Egyptian startups — along with mental health platform Shezlong — that participated in 500 startups‘s 23rd Speed Accelerator cohort.

Acquisition part of Match Group’s global expansion

The acquisition of Harmonica forms part of Match Group’s global expansion plans.

US business publication Market Insider reported in an article today that the dating services provider has also acquired dating apps in Japan, as well as hired consultants to configure its existing products to better fit different cultural preferences.

The group’s products — which include Tinder, Match, PlentyOfFish, Meetic, OkCupid, OurTime, Pairs, and Hinge — are available in 42 different languages and in more than 190 countries.

The acquisition of Harmonica follows last month’s announcement by US tech publication Techcrunch that dating giant Zoosk had been acquired by Berlin based Spark Networks for $258-million.

Read moreThese are the two Egyptian startups representing Africa at 500 Startups’s Seed Accelerator

Featured image: Harmonica co-founder and CEO Sameh Saleh (Supplied)

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