Flat6Labs confirmed Aug 7 that it is fully exiting the company’s investment in Harmonica, an online matchmaking platform that uses technology-enabled, scientifically-driven means to help users meet compatible life-partners.
The move came shortly after Harmonica’s acquisition by US-based Internet giant Match Group (MTCH).
Flat6Labs is one of the Middle East and North Africa’s largest and most influential early-stage investor and accelerator. Harmonica came aboard Flat6Labs Cairo’s startup acceleration platform on Aug 2017, where they were provided with various perks including seed funding, training, mentorship, legal assistance, and more.
Harmonica was founded by Sameh Saleh, Tamer Saleh, Shaymaa Ali, and Aly Khaled, four Egyptian entrepreneurs that wanted to use technology to enhance the matchmaking process in a traditionally acceptable manner.
Following the four-month-long acceleration program, Harmonica quickly scaled up operations and bagged around 5,000 users. However, that was just the beginning as the company’s user-base expanded fast in the follow-up weeks, registering a growth of nearly 700%.
Other regional heavyweights such as 500 Startups also entered the scene by making a sizeable investment in Harmonica shortly after.
“Two years ago, we founded Harmonica with our sisters, cousins, and friends in mind, with the goal of helping them find a perfect partner. It was critical that what we built was something to protect them and represent the values that our community cares deeply about. It was also important that our parents would be comfortable with them using our app,” said Sameh Saleh, CEO of Harmonica. “We’ve already facilitated hundreds of marriages just in Egypt and believe that with Match Group’s vast experience, there are exciting opportunities ahead.”
Complimenting Harmonica’s ability to grow so big and so quick, Ramez El-Serafy, Flat6Labs CEO, noted: “From day one we’ve had a great deal of trust in Harmonica’s talented team, and their truly innovative marriage matchmaking application; and now, we’re thrilled that Match Group is sharing the same confidence in moving ahead with this remarkable acquisition deal.”
He also acknowledged that Flat6Labs was exiting Harmonica with a hefty profit margin.
“This deal not only marks the first major Flat6Labs exit with a 16x return on investment in just over one year but also marks Match Group’s first entry in the MENA and the South-East Asian markets, and we’re proud that they’re actualizing this move with one of our very own startups,” El-Serafy added.
“As we think about international growth and expansion, there are huge populations of young singles — mostly across Asia and the Middle East — that will be looking for their life partners in the near future, and that are not properly served by Western products,” said Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of Match Group. “The Harmonica team is not only smart and innovative but has built a highly differentiated and technologically impressive product that, although early-stage, truly understands the needs of this culture. We believe we’ve found great talent, with local expertise and insights that will help us further succeed in our international expansion strategy.”
The acquisition details will be revealed in a press conference held on the 26th of August in the Greek campus, with Match Group, Flat6Labs, and the Harmonica team.