Tinder, the West Hollywood-based dating app, announced Monday it will buy Tappy, a disappearing-photo messenging app similar to Snapchat.
Tinder already has a similar feature called Moments. So why buy Tappy? Tinder cofounder and Chief Executive Sean Rad suggested the acquisition is more about people than products or technology: “The incredibly talented Tappy team is uniquely qualified to help us tackle important parts of our roadmap,” he told The Times.
The purchase, for an undisclosed amount, reunites Rad with Tappy’s cofounders, Brian Norgard and Dan Gould. In 2009 the three launched Adly, an agency that links up celebrities and brand names for social media endorsements. Rad went on to start Tinder; the other two tried several ventures before they created Tappy.
“Our team couldn’t be happier to join Tinder,” Norgard said. “It’s rare to find a company that has exploded onto the scene so quickly, but it hasn’t scratched the surface of its potential.”
Tinder’s app lets users check out photos of potential dates on a smartphone, swiping left to reject, swiping right to initiate a hookup. Tappy users can choose groups and send photos that disappear after 24 hours.
It’s difficult to assess Tinder’s potential. As a private company, Tinder doesn’t release financial information. (Media mogul Barry Diller’s IAC, which operates online dating services such as Match.com and OkCupid, holds a majority stake in Tinder.) Market researcher IBISWorld pegs the entire online dating market at $2 billion, growing at 4.7% a year.
The deal is good news for the Los Angeles tech scene, said Howard Marks, the cofounder of Activision and chair of start-up accelerator StartEngine. It “shows the maturation of our market,” he said. “The economics of L.A. are becoming similar to Silicon Valley.”