Matchmaking app Once has poached two Match Group executives to join its team, GDI can reveal.
Alexandra Herry, former Digital Marketing Director of Match Europe and Baptiste Juillard, Head of SEM for Match Europe are both leaving the dating leader to join Once.
Herry has worked at Match Group for over 12 years, holding various marketing positions at EMEA division Meetic, including Head of Search Marketing, Head of Performance Marketing and Digital Marketing Director, where she was in charge of the marketing strategy for all European markets.
Juillard, on the other hand, has worked with Match Group for eight years, holding positions at Meetic including SEM Account Executive and European SEM Manager, which he held for six years and where he ran paid search, app promotion, Google Display Network, Admob and YouTube Trueview.
Speaking about the hires, Once said: “Right now, we feel a bit like the prettiest girl at the dance. Alexandra and Baptiste were driving the marketing for the #1 dating company in the world and yet they just quit to join Once.
“While we have a lot to learn from them and from the industry, I believe that our team and product convinced them that there is some true potential in Once. We are so excited to have them on board to help us take Once to the next level.”
Once is currently seeing a $20m ARR and is targeting a $100m ARR for 2018, as it sits at #2 on the lifestyle/dating rankings for iOS and Android in its seven markets.
The dating business, founded by CEO Jean Meyer, also said that while its EBITDA is positive, the company is planning on raising a large round before the end of 2017.
As CMO, Alexandra Herry will define the product’s marketing strategies across seven markets, as well as optimising marketing investments, growing brand awareness, structuring the marketing team and providing tools and processes to help the business grow.
Asked why she wanted to join Once, Herry told GDI: “Once is a disruptive dating service. It offers the users a new way to date online. Indeed, while other apps focus on providing you with a wide choice of singles, Once strives to provide quality over quantity. In a very competitive industry such as dating, having a disruptive product is definitively an asset.”
As Head of Acquisition, Baptiste Juillard will run all acquisition channels, helping to scale existing networks, launching new campaigns and improving market share.
Asked what attracted him to Once, Juillard said: “Creating a dating app that helps users saving time and not wasting it makes a lot of sense. Once has a unique approach leveraging a mix of human matchmakers and cutting edge machine learning algorithms and I have no doubt that their technology is shaping the future of dating.
“Also, on the acquisition side, promoting an app and optimizing post-install actions is very exciting in a constantly evolving advertising ecosystem.”
For the next 12 months, Once is focusing on launching in new markets, reinforcing its own brand awareness and marketing in existing countries, as well as prepping the launch of a feature in the next few months that has “never been seen” before in the industry.