This startup incubator only specializes in one thing: online dating


Venntro Ventures has launched to incubate tech startups in the online dating and lifestyle spaces in both the UK and US.

The incubator is part of Venntro Media Group, Europe’s largest privately owned dating and lifestyle company comprising more than 25,000 sites and 45 million members worldwide. Venntro’s global network consists of more than 1,700 commercial partners including the London Evening Standard, Bauer Media, LA News Group and Smooth Radio.

Venntro Ventures plans to offer expertise and advice, office space, investment and access to its member portfolio of 45 million in exchange for a stake of up to 40%.

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“When dating or lifestyle startups seek investment, a huge proportion of investors’ money is typically spent on seeding their database, with acquisition via channels like Facebook, Google and more,” said founder and CEO of Venntro Media Group, Ross Williams.

“Venntro is in the unique position to offer something that a lot of other investors can’t. Over the past 12 months, almost 9.2 million members registered to sites in the Venntro portfolio. We will offer startups involved in Ventures the opportunity to cross-sell their product to those 9.2 million members.

“This is great for us, because it means that we can offer consumers choice and it’s great for the startups in the programme because it significantly reduces their acquisition spend while positively influencing their ROI.”

The company will explore dating startups, as well as looking at lifestyle products that can extend the relationship with customers after they’ve found a match online.

 “Not only are this audience are already engaged with dating products, but we also know from experience that the take-up from cross-selling between different products is typically high,” said Williams. “This is because if a member hasn’t found what they’re looking for on one product, they might try their luck with another.

“If you hypothetically attribute a £1 cost of acquisition to each of those members (which is actually quite a low acquisition cost for quality leads), then suddenly the value of the exchange for startups in the programme is very high.”

This story originally appeared on Tech City News.

The Google of Russia, Yandex, asks EU to investigate Android

Yandex: "Russia's Google"

(Reuters) – Russia’s biggest search site Yandex said on Friday it had asked the European Commission to investigate Google’s practices in relation to its Android mobile operating system in the European Union.

The new complaint could strengthen the case against Google, possibly giving enough ammunition to EU antitrust regulators to eventually charge the company with anti-competitive business practices, on top of accusations related to its Google Shopping service.

The formal request was filed in April 2015 and largely mirrors the Russian company’s claims against the U.S. company in a Russian anti-monopoly case that Yandex won.

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Russia’s competition watchdog ruled in September that Google had broken the law by requiring pre-installation of its search application on mobile devices running on its Android operating system.

“We think that the Russian finding of abuse of dominance is instructive, and is a conclusion that can readily be adopted in other jurisdictions, including the EU,” Yandex said.

Yandex is one of the few companies to publicly complain about Android.

It joins U.S. tech firm Disconnect, Portuguese app store Aptoide, and lobbying group FairSearch whose members include Microsoft, Expedia, TripAdvisor and French price comparison site Twenga.

Yandex, which rivals Google in Turkey as well as Russia and several other former Soviet republics, said its business development in Europe would depend, among other factors, on the outcome of the European Commission’s investigation.

“We hope the European Commission … offers their help in restoring fair competition and ensuring equal opportunity to pre-install mobile applications on Android-based devices not only for Google, but also for other developers,” it said.

Yandex is ahead of Google in Russia with a search market share of around 60 percent, but it has been slow expanding abroad – a position it flagged when selling shares in a $1.3 billion initial public offering on Nasdaq in 2011.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova, editing by William Hardy)

White Star Capital Closes $70M For Its First Institutional Transatlantic Fund

White Star Capital, which bides it’s time between London, New York and Montreal, has been active in the market for a couple years but until now has not ‘opened the kimono’ much on its backing. Today that changes with the news of its the close of its first institutional fund with $70 million in LP commitments. This first institutional fund is mainly backed by sovereign and… Read More

After Insane Startup Journey, Pillow Talk Hits Kickstarter To Let Distant Lovers Share Heartbeat

Notification When I first heard about Pillow Talk, the wearable device that lets you stream the sound of your heartbeat to a loved one’s pillow, I couldn’t decide if it was bonkers, genius or somewhere in between. But after talking to Joanna Montgomery, founder of Little Riot, the company behind the product, what is clear is that the startup’s journey is just a little insane. Read More

Google and Intel partner with Tag Heuer on $1,500 Android Wear smartwatch


155-year-old Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer today unveiled the “Connected Watch,” a $1500 smartwatch built in partnership with Google and Intel. It’s made of titanium and runs Android Wear.

Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver:

We want to be connected to tomorrow. How could we get connected to tomorrow in our Watch Valley? In theWatch Valley, as the name says, we are producing watches. But we are producing mechanical watches. But we are producing traditional watches … watches that people love.

But can we do in watch valley a connected watch that people want? No. So what did we do? We tried to do it, and we went to Silicon Valley. So today if there is something to be said, today is the marriage of Watch Valley and Silicon Valley. It’s a marriage between America and Switzerland…

So this wedding, what does it mean? It means for TAG it’s a milestone for our brand. But it’s also a milestone for the Swiss watch industry. The Swiss watch industry has entered today, thanks to Intel, Google.. the Swiss Watch industry is connected to the future. That is the importance of the event today. That is why I’m excited. That is why I am proud to be here.

Not the first ‘luxury’ smartwatch

TAG Heuer isn’t breaking ground today. Apple already retails a handful of luxury Apple Watch models priced as high as $17,000 and LG sells a $1,200 gold smartwatch called the “Urbane Luxe.” Actually, TAG Heuer isn’t even the first Swiss-made smartwatch. Mondaine technically beat it to the punch. And it doesn’t appear to be the first Intel-powered Android Wear smartwatch, either. Fossil did that in October.

Find the right hacker for the job with Hackajob


There’s probably never been more demand for technical talent, but how do you find the right person for the job?

And if you’re a techie who’s job hunting, you might regularly be faced with the blank face of a HR person who wouldn’t know their CSS from their CS gas. A potentially dangerous situation!

Enter Hackajob, a data-driven online marketplace that puts devs to the test so they can hack their way to their next job.

Bin the 1D CV and use your GitHub library to show off your coding prowess to some of the UK’s top recruiters.

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You’re then challenged to demo what you can do and your results are pegged against other candidates on the Hackajob leaderboard.

Partnered with the pipeline

Hackajob has partnered with some of the UK’s leading Russell Group university alumni networks to ensure they find the best developers looking for their first gig.

They are also building their own online community by organising hacking competitions sponsored by top UK firms.

Hackajob currently has 16,000 users who’ve done more than 6,500 ‘happlications’ for tech roles – and successful candidates can get £1,000 if they refer a friend to the platform.

Big brands clients

The company is one year old this month and already counts highstreet names like Argos, unicorns like Transferwise and even national institutions like the BBC among its client base.

The team has made it from the library at King’s College London, via the Techstars London accelerator, which included a $118,000 investment, to find their home in an office space at London Bridge.

One user of the platform said: “Hackajob is great. It’s fun to take on a challenge and I get to show off my abilities to employers at the same time. It’s a win-win.”

This story originally appeared on Tech City News.