Online flirting service Flirtomatic has raised $9 million in a third round of funding, which it will use to redo its mobile apps and continue its rapid expansion in Europe and the U.S. On Flirtomatic, users set up basic profiles and then send “flirty” messages to other users. The service is free, but Flirtomatic charges its users for additional services, like getting better placement for their profiles and seeing which other members have rated their profiles.
CEO Mark Curtis tells us in an interview that in the U.K., Flirtomatic’s most established market, more than 15 percent of Flirtomatic’s users pay for premium features during an average month.
About 80 percent of Flirtomatic’s users access the service from their mobile phones, and Curtis says the company will use some of the new cash to improve its mobile apps, which are currently available for Android, iPhone and iPod Touch. One possibility, he said, is that the company will add a GPS feature to those apps so that members would be able to flirt with other users near them.
Other cash will go to continuing the company’s international expansion; it now operates in six countries, but Curtis says the vast majority of Flirtomatic’s more than 2.5 million users are in the U.K., where it has 1.7 million users, and the U.S., where it has 850,000. The company has distribution deals with major carriers including Vodafone (NYSE: VOD), T-Mobile and AT&T.
The funding round was led by Nauta Capital. Existing investors Doughty Hanson, Seraphim Capital and chairman Avi Azulai, who founded mobile service provider iTouch, also participated. The new cash brings Flirtomatic total backing to $17 million.