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Tinder steps up international expansion by hiring top execs from Twitter, tech start-ups

CNBC logo CNBC 24/03/2017 Arjun Kharpal
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Dating app Tinder has stepped up its international expansion by hiring executives from major firms like Twitter to operations in countries across Asia and Europe, the company told CNBC on Friday.

Tinder has hired the following people:

  • Alexey Shelestenko, former media partnerships manager at Twitter, has joined as country manager of Russia
  • Laura Roche Camera, former head of customer marketing and digital at Hastings Direct and ex-American Express marketing director, has joined as country manager of the U.K.
  • Ekaterina Hadjipetkova, former growth project manager at ride sharing platform BlaBlaCar, has joined as country manager of France
  • Ryo Umezawa, former country manager at HomeAway Japan, has joined as country manager of Japan for Tinder
  • Morad Adjaoud, former Head of growth, acquisition and content at rival dating service Happn, has joined as head of European growth

The move by the dating app, which is owned by Match.com, comes at a time when it is looking to boost the numbers of paying users, through its premium tier called Tinder Plus. The service costs $9.99 if you're under 30 years old, while it's $19.99 after that.

Tinder had 1.7 million paid members at the end of 2016, up from 0.8 million the year before.

The company does not disclose the number of overall users it has, but Derek Callow, vice president of international at Tinder, told CNBC via email that it has "tens of millions of active users worldwide". Tinder will be hoping to convert more of those into paying subscribers. The executive added that paid members are expected to rise 15 percent this year.

Callow said that he could not reveal the percentage of users in Europe, but said the some countries on the continent are in the top 5 markets for the company.

"In terms of Europe, from 2015 to 2016, the number of Swipes on Tinder increased by 63 percent. We're encouraged by this growth in European user activity and intend to propel that adoption forward in 2017," Callow said.

For now, Tinder is not planning to open any international offices, with the headquarters still in California. But this could change "depending on growth over the next 12 to 18 months", Callow explained, with the executive also hinting at further acquisitions.

"As a first step, Tinder is focusing on building out the core team at a country level. Once we've developed a solid and defined ground to stand on, we look forward to bringing a wider team growth and demand for a broad range of skillsets to help us localize," Callow told CNBC.

"We see new opportunities in Europe within the dating and broader social space, and we hope to capitalize on them through product development, acquisitions and partnerships."

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