Interview: Meet Badoo’s Head of Growth Marketing

Ira Krachanovskaya is the Head of Growth Marketing at Badoo. She leads a team of six focused on user acquisition and engagement at the dating giant’s HQ in London.

In September, Badoo crossed the 400 million user mark. The landmark achievement came as the brand decided to move away from swiping, focusing its efforts on digital wellbeing and improving the lives of daters.

Earlier in her career, Krachanovskaya spent time with Avazu Holdings – there, she worked with companies including Amazon, SocialPoint and OLX.

GDI caught up with the expert marketer to get an overview of where Badoo sits in 2018, and find out more about her history in the tech industry.

Read the full, lightly edited interview below:

Tell us a bit about yourself, your history and how you ended up at Badoo.  

IK: “I honestly never thought I would work in the digital marketing sphere, especially for a dating app in London. Back in Moscow, I studied International Economics, which later led me to go to Berlin and do a masters in Developing Economics. The plan was to work for NGOs, but by accident, my master thesis defence day was postponed by a month, so I decided to look for an internship in Berlin and found out that Berlin is actually European Silicon Valley.

That was the moment when I got an offer from ad2games, specialising in pay-to-play and free-to-play games on PC and console platforms. It was at this point that I realised the digital world is moving towards mobile, and so I started working for Avazu Advertising Platform. In November 2017, I decided to quit and travel Brazil for two months. During my travels I started to look for a job in London, which was a city I had never been to before but had always appealed to me.

I eventually discovered Badoo and applied – I went through 6 stages of the interview process and finally I got the job. This was the moment when my life drastically changed. Badoo is a great place to work: smart colleagues, challenging tasks, fast decision making, open communication with senior management and opportunities to grow.”

Can you take us through each of the Badoo brands, and just say a few words about how you think each product is positioned?

IK: “Badoo launched in 2006 and was one of the first dating platforms. Today, it’s one of the biggest dating apps, with over 400 million global users. It’s a very exciting time at the moment, as this year we are looking to revive the dating space and put an end to dating-app fatigue by encouraging users to get offline and meet in real life. As well as Badoo bringing out new features and growing drastically every day, the Badoo family has also grown.

To name a few, Badoo currently has Bumble, Lumen and Chappy under its umbrella. Bumble doesn’t need an introduction – it’s the first feminist dating app which empowers women in a safe environment. The brand is so strong, that most people have either heard of Bumble or are using it. Chappy is one of the first gay dating apps which gives users the chance to meet for love (Mr Right) or for fun (Mr Right Now). Then finally, we have Lumen, which is a dating app for users over 50 looking for someone to share their exciting life with.”

Last month, you hit 400 million users. What does the geography look like there? What are Badoo’s key markets?

IK: “Badoo works on a global scale, we have users in 190 countries across the world – including the remote Christmas Island. There is no difference for us between the markets; if we can help bring people together, then Badoo is doing its job. In the Growth team, we look into different KPIs per channel/country and decide based on the performance where to invest. We do not restrict ourselves in terms of GEOs.”

What are your top tips for women in tech?

IK: “I believe there should not be any difference between women or men in tech. We are all professionals. Nevertheless, women should not be afraid to take on challenges. My advice for women in tech, or business, is to be passionate about what you do and always be open to learn more. For me, one of the most important things is to find a role model, in your circle, with whom you can share ups and downs, concerns and ask for advice. I have someone like this, who helps me tremendously in achieving my goals and succeeding as a leader. I also like to remind myself that success comes from within.”

What can we expect from Andrey, yourself and Badoo in the next twelve months?

IK: “Growth and finding love for all of our users.”

Visit the Badoo website here.

Scott Harvey

Scott is the Editor of Global Dating Insights. Raised in Dorset, he holds a BA from The University of Nottingham and an MSc from Lund University School of Economics and Management. Previously he has written about politics, economics and technology for various online publications.

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