A spot of consolidation in the online dating space today, with Match Group, the subsidiary of Tinder and OkCupid owner IAC, announcing it has agreed to acquire PlentyOfFish (POF) for $575 million in cash. Match Group said it expects the transaction to close early in the fourth quarter, pending Canadian regulatory approvals.
The acquisition looks squarely focused on snagging a fresh pool of digitally active singles to feed into its portfolio of digital services. With dating apps’ free-at-the-point-of-use model superseding desktop era subscription-for-access online dating there’s greater need for businesses in the space to ramp up their volume of users to boost conversions to paid services.
Tinder, for instance, flicked the monetization switch this spring, launching Tinder Plus: a monthly subscription that gives access to features such as a Rewind option for those who swipe too quickly and regret consigning a potential match to the virtual dustbin. Such business models flourish when there’s plenty of fish for them to hook too.
Add to that, singles are a core demographic for marketing other types of self-improvement services where Match/IAC also plays.
“As more people than ever use more dating apps than ever with more frequency than ever, PlentyOfFish’s addition both brings new members into our family of products and deepens the lifetime relationship we have with our users across our portfolio,” said Sam Yagan, CEO of The Match Group, commenting on the POF acquisition in a statement. “I look forward to working closely with Markus and extending the company’s impressive growth trajectory.”
“I am confident that Match will help accelerate our growth even further,” added Markus Frind, CEO of PlentyOfFish, in another supporting statement. POF was founded back in 2003 in Canada by Frind, who bootstrapped the business, retaining control and sole ownership of the company — and is now headed for a $575M cash out (once the deal closes).
The POF acquisition adds some 3 million daily actives and +1 brand to IAC’s digital media portfolio of more than 150 brands and products, and more than 20 operating businesses. While its Match Group subsidiary covers around 50 brands in the dating, education and fitness space. Safe to say it sees plenty of cross-marketing opportunities for the new tranche of digitally active singles it’s gaining by buying POF.
IAC reports having more than 370 million unique monthly users in total and more than 2.5 billion monthly visits to its entire portfolio of sites.