Blued, a Chinese dating application for gay men, has scored a $30 million round of investment co-led by DCM Ventures. It has a value of around $300 million. Its apps focus on the gay community in China where being a homosexual was illegal until 1997.
From the Co-Founder.
David Chao, co-founder and general partner at DCM Ventures has stated.
“People [in China] are more in the closet and less open about it [homosexuality], but the beautiful thing about the smartphone is that it’s a private device. Having a very private phone and being able to communicate with the gay community is a dream come true.”
Dating apps in general are proving to be a lucrative business, garnering millions of users and opening their scope to make money from advertising and offering premium paid-for services. Popular dating-app makers include Tinder Inc., whose valuation is expected to pass $1 billion.
The We Do! competition is sponsored by e-commerce company Taobao and supported by the Beijing LGBT Center, PFLAG and several Chinese celebrities and academics. These include The Voice of China contestant Momo Wu and sexologist Fang Gang.
There are no restrictions age, nationality or ethnicity but entrants were asked to send their real name, contact details and at least three photos of them and their partner to the app’s official Weibo account.
‘We have received lots of couple applications and photos. This is really great,’ said Geng Le, CEO of Blued, on Weibo.
‘I feel proud of everyone’s courage and happiness. I wish Taobao could sponsor us to choose 100 couples for the mass wedding.’ China does not recognize gay marriage or civil unions.
More than 1,000 couples registered and 20 have been chosen for the final round of selection, for which they have to make a 30-second video telling their love story.
Blued has not released any details about the wedding itself but stressed it would be ‘completely free.’
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