Dating app Badoo has acquired its subsidiary company, Huggle, along with its internal marketing team in a bid to join forces.

Huggle, a popular dating and friendship app which matches users based on the places they have in common, was launched in 2016 by co-founders Valerie Stark and Stina Sanders.

The brand has since attracted over 500,000 users, including celebrities such as Katie Price and Bella Thorne.

While Huggle has sat under the Badoo umbrella and used its technical infrastructure, all marketing activity was undertaken by the brand's all-female team, including the app’s co-founders.

"After a long period of negotiations, we’re delighted to announce that Huggle will be merging with Badoo, and that both marketing teams will be joining forces to make the best out of both businesses," said Badoo chief executive Andrey Andreev.

Valerie

Valerie Stark (pictured above), CEO of Huggle, added: “We're really excited to see what we can achieve together and it’s an honour to be part of the team behind the world’s biggest dating app.

“Huggle was built by a small team of five females; for two of them it was their first ever job – so it’s a great achievement for us to be welcomed into the Badoo team and have them really trust our expertise.”

Badoo was founded by Andreev in 2006 and has since cemented itself as the world’s largest dating-focused social network, with over 380 million users.

It also has a number of other successful brands under its umbrella, including the feminist dating app Bumble.