Lunch Actually raises funds to expand

Home-grown dating service firm Lunch Actually Group has caught the eye of investors hoping to ride on growing acceptance across South-east Asia, of using online sites to find love and companionship.

The firm said yesterday it has raised a seven-digit sum - though it did not disclose the exact amount - in a major funding round from investors. They are Mixi, an online Japanese social networking service and publisher of mobile game Monster Strike, and Fatfish Internet Group, an Internet ventures investment and development firm based in South-east Asia and Australia.

Mixi president Hiroki Morita was impressed by the firm's "ability to monetise its entire ecology through upselling and cross-selling".

Lunch Actually was founded in 2004 by Ms Violet Lim and Mr Jamie Lee, a married couple. It began with physical dating services, then moved on to build other businesses like online matchmaking platform esync and dating app LunchClick.

Fatfish chief executive Lau Kin-Wai said it spotted Lunch Actually after the local firm acquired one of its portfolio firms, which made dating app Love Out Loud Asia. The firm also acquired MeetnLunch, a Thai matchmaking service provider, last year. Since 2011, its revenues have risen by over 500 per cent.

It has more than 110 staff across six Asian cities, including Hong Kong and Penang, and over 500,000 members. Ms Lim, its chief executive, said the strategy is to create the most effective dating platform. "Most singles use more than one dating platform before they succeed in their dating journey. Within our own database, 40 per cent of our singles are using more than one dating product within our ecology."

The firm will use the funds for expansion.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2016, with the headline 'Lunch Actually raises funds to expand'. Print Edition | Subscribe