Tinder Aims to Make Matching More 'Humin' With New Acquisition 'We both were trying to solve the problem of how do we use technology to get people to meet and connect in the physical world.'

By Catherine Clifford

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Stephen McCarthy

Tinder wants to make its swiping experience more personalized.

The Los Angeles-headquartered dating app, which has facilitated more than 10 billion matches in 196 countries around the world since it was founded in 2012, recently acquired the contextual computing app, Humin.

Humin co-founder and CEO Ankur Jain says that he and Tinder CEO Sean Rad met in the fall and realized that they were essentially working on the same issue. "We both were trying to solve the problem of how do we use technology to get people to meet and connect in the physical world," says Jain in a conversation with Entrepreneur.

Humin is an contextual computing address book. It sorts the people in your contact list based on how you know them, how frequently you contact them and your location. It's also the parent company of a social networking augmented reality product, Knock Knock, which launched last summer, that enables users to share their contact information with those who are geographically nearby when a user physically knocks on the surface of a phone.

Related: Founders of Humin Release New App That Lets You Share Contact Info by Tapping on Your Phone

Tinder, the dating app where users flip through potential matches and swipe left or right to signal approval or disapproval, will integrate the Humin contextual computing technology into its matching product, making the information displayed with a potential match photo more relevant to the person viewing the photo.

Part of the goal of the merger is to make it so that each person sees the contextual data most relevant to their individual priorities. That will be particularly important in international expansion, where dating standards and expectations vary drastically. For example, "in Korea, the context that matters a lot is having the same hometown even more so than where you currently live," says Jain.

Ankur Jain
Image Credit: Stephen McCarthy

Facebook wants you to live in a digital reality of immersive virtual reality. By contrast, Tinder wants you to live in a future of augmented reality, where the physical world that you live in is made more convenient and organized thanks to technology.

"Facebook has very clearly set their state with virtual reality, and the idea for Oculus, you are connecting in the digital world with people," says Jain. "The goal of Tinder is more along the lines of augmented reality. You augment your real life to make it easier to meet people, easier to connect with people, easier to get together with people."

Related: This New App Lets You Summon Your Grandma (or Tinder Date) Via a Prepaid Uber Ride

Going forward, Tinder wants to help users find more than a Friday night date with the boy or girl who happens to be next door. "While dating is a core of Tinder, the real future of where Tinder is going is about being that social network for the physical world," says Jain. "Tinder has always talked about facilitating real-world meetups."

Existing Humin and Knock Knock users will be able to continue to use the products indefinitely, but no new customers are allowed to join, says Jain. There is, however, a potential that down the road, the Humin and Knock Knock products would shut down completely for all customers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wavy Line
Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

Editor's Pick

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics

Business News

The 'Barbie' Movie May Have Caused A Global Pink Paint Shortage

The long-anticipated film is slated to hit theaters later this summer.

Business News

California Woman Arrested For $60 Million Postal Service Scam

Lijuan "Angela" Chen faces two charges that each carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Growing a Business

How to Harness the Power of Data Analytics for Business Growth

To thrive in the competitive landscape, entrepreneurs must understand and leverage the power of data analytics.


The Return to Office Movement is Causing a Mental Health Crisis. Employers Are Part of The Problem — But They Can Be Part of The Solution.

Employee mental health substantially worsened with the return to office demands, and it's causing disengagement and low morale. The solution demanded by employees is the answer.

Latest News

9 Ways to Harness Entrepreneurial Skills in Medicine

Entrepreneurship and medicine may seem like divergent paths, but integrating entrepreneurial skills into medicine can lead to innovative solutions and professional fulfillment.