The Bing Fund family continues to grow, today adding LikeBright to its roster of companies. In December, Bing Fund picked up its third startup, Selectable Media. By our count, LikeBright takes the fund to four members.
According to the LikeBright, its goal is to “eliminate loneliness using the shared social ties that connect people.” In practice that means the firm sorts through Facebook friendships to help better find potential dating matches. Explaining that pictorially, observe the following:
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Why is Bing interested in the startup? Mostly due to its fusion of social data and search, something that Bing itself has long worked on. That in mind, the parent and child companies – using the terms loosely – are both striving down the same path; working in harmony is therefore not such a bad idea.
I note the idea of collaboration as the Bing Fund isn’t just a bucket of money, but is instead more akin to a rich friend. Here’s how the fund describes its activities, as quoted in our previous reporting:
Bing Fund will be working closely with the team to exhaustively explore and identify the paths to help them reach the next level whether that’s through access to domain expertise Microsoft possesses, technology resources, business development opportunities, or funding.
Bing, perhaps, has expertise to help LikeBright hone its algorithms. The startup is launching a new contest, about matchmaking, to celebrate the news of its inclusion into the Bing Fund. Uber and other partners are on board to give out prizes, including chocolate.
Bing Fund is something that Bing cooked up itself, using its own funds. That fact gives it a pretty wide swath of independence from Microsoft. It will be interesting to see how well its investments fare.
Top Image Credit: Jeremy Vandel