East Meet East, a US-based Asian dating platform, today announced that it has closed US$4 million in Series A funding from investors, including 500 Startups and Japanese VCs such as Asahi Medialab Ventures, DG Lab Fund (jointly established by Digital Garage and Daiwa Securities Group), Mobile Internet Capital, and Septeni Holdings.
The funds will be used for developing advanced Artificial Intelligence matching systems and expanding to Asia.
“Our first launch is in the Philippines. This is because EastMeetEast already has the largest Asian dating site in North America, and it is operated in English. To service Filipino audience, we can extend the product in the same language. Further, American culture and brands are generally well-received in the Philippines, so it’s naturally a good fit,” Founder and CEO Mario Tokioka told e27. “We also plan to expand to Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, but the timeline is to be determined, as we want to ensure we’re providing the best possible experience in the Philippines first.”
Launched in 2014, East Meet East is a dating service that connects Asian with Asian American singles. The company claims to have matched over 20,000 partners through its matching algorithms and features that cater to the needs of the English-speaking Asian community.
“In the US, the Asian population remains the fastest growing major ethnic group, with 72 per cent growth between 2000 and 2015, growing from 11.9 million to 20.4 million. The Asia Pacific region is home to over 4.5 billion people, or nearly 60 percent of the world population, and online dating there has boomed in recent years,” Tokioka added.
In collaboration with DG Lab (a partnership between Digital Garage, Kakaku.com and Credit Saison), East Meet East recently launched AI-based matching system Love.AI. This will take factors such as past matches and communications into account to constantly refine how users are matched. As Love.AI deepens its learning, users will be able to cut down on the time they spend scrolling through incompatible matches, further increasing effectiveness and their success on East Meet East.
Further, the company recently launched West East Dating (WED), an inclusive dating site for Asians and Westerners alike in Southeast Asia. WED’s mission is to help Asians find their lifetime partner. WED will serve as a platform where like-minded individuals will connect and come together, in celebration of Asian culture, language, and heritage.
“WestEastDating is an inclusive dating site for people, who love Asian culture and values, both Asian and non-Asian alike. Whoever interested in Asian culture, heritage, and language can join the site and meet a match, who shares similar cultural interests. Please also note that the user bases of EastMeetEast and WestEastDating are totally separate,” she said.