Online dating app Woo has acquired a Los Angeles-based dating portal that focusses on the South Asian community called DUS, the ‘desi dating app.’ With this acquisition, Woo aims to solidify its position in the international Indian dating sphere.
Post the transaction, Woo’s team will customise DUS’ features and growth strategies to target the international Indian community.
Commenting on the acquisition, Sumesh Menon, co-Founder of Woo said, “I am confident that DUS’ acquisition will help accelerate our outreach to Indians globally. While originally designed for India alone, we quickly realised that our platform had a global appeal and was already favoured by Indians internationally to form a strong connect back to their homeland.
Launched in 2014 by Sumesh Menon and Ankit Nautiyal, Woo is a dating app that offers users features such as Tag Search, Ask A Question, Crush and Boost. As per an official statement, it has started monetising with a freemium subscription model.
On the other hand, DUS was founded in 2015 by Shawn Sheikh and Sahil Diwan. It offers South Asians with a digital space to meet others and establish the user’s full discretion when it comes to interacting with who they meet through the service.
Earlier in July 2015, venture capital fund IDG Ventures India invested an undisclosed amount in a casual dating app, iCrushiFlush. Prior to that, Mumbai-based People Group, which owns matrimonial website Shaadi.com, bought about 25% stake in Delhi-based dating app maker Thrill in a cash and stock deal valued at close to about $1 Mn. In December 2016, Delhi-based software company Wixty Inc acquired Kingr, a dating app designed for Brazil-based Christians for $150K in an all-cash deal.
Woo currently consists of a 30-member team and their goal to stand out in the crowded dating app space is to focus on alternate modes of discovery apart from just pictures, which have long been the norm. To facilitate this, Woo has a feature titled ‘QuestionCast’, which lets women pose questions for men to answer and then interact with those they find interesting.
Woo competes with other dating platforms such as Tinder, CoffeMeetsBagels, TrulyMadly etc.