Online dating from a single-person’s perspective is mind-numbingly simple. Instead of waiting at the bar to hopefully meet someone nice, numerous dating apps and services will do the heavy lifting and find your perfect match. All you need to do is give them a flattering picture, answer a few questions about your personality, and voila! You’ll meet that special someone before you know it.
From a business point-of-view, however, it’s a goldmine. Sure, there are the “norms” out there looking for love the traditional way, but the millions who are single and/or ready to mingle will pony up their hard-earned cash for a subscription (or view a bunch of ads), all in the name of love.
When two major companies took notice of this business model, however, they changed online dating for good…by purchasing and creating as many dating sites as they could. Sure, love is nice and all, but when it’s publicly traded on the stock market and raking in some serious coin, everyone benefits!
You’ve probably heard of Tinder, OK Cupid, Chemistry.com, or Match.com. But did you know they were all owned by the same company?
InterActiveCorp ($IAC), a company that owns everything from CollegeHumor to About.com, also owns most popular online dating sites.
They also own and operate out of this weird Frank Gehry building in New York. What don’t they own?
As part of Match Group, IAC owns BlackPeopleMeet, Chemistry, HowAboutWe, Match, PlentyOfFish, Tinder, and several other dating apps.
The majority of these apps were acquired. PlentyOfFish, for instance, was bought last year for a whopping $575 million, and Tinder is valued in the billions.
IAC’s dating sites have been so profitable that Match Group trades as its own ticker symbol ($MTCH).
Match has been doing pretty well in the last several months on the market.
IAC isn’t the only dating conglomerate in town. While they specialize in broad dating apps that anyone can enjoy, Spark Networks owns the popular niche apps.
Everything from ChristianMingle.com to JSwipe is under the Spark umbrella.
If you’re looking for a really specific significant other, Spark’s got you covered.
While they also trade on the market (under the ticker symbol $LOV), they haven’t been doing as well.
Perhaps it’s because they’re not spending their time going after a more general audience like IAC.
But executives in Spark have faith in their company, and have been buying company stock in massive quantities.
After all, there’s no shortage of single people!
When your skeptical friend tells you that all dating sites are the same, know that they’re basically correct but for the wrong reasons. After all, finding love isn’t just part of life — it’s also a business!
Share this story with your single friends, and consider making a profit on their failed hook-ups!