Dating Giant IAC Buys How About We

How About We
  • Wednesday, July 23 2014 @ 07:06 am
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IAC is positioning itself to be the center of the online dating world. Its 150 brands are cornering the market, particularly, OkCupid, and popular dating app Tinder. Now, it’s added How About We to its roster. Neither IAC or How About We disclosed the purchase price.

How About We offers a unique twist in online dating – focusing on the offline part of the process. Members can create date ideas, post them to How About We, and see if anyone cares to join them on the date. This bypasses the typical process of scrolling through profiles and matches as you would do on other sites.

The company has gone through a lot of changes in the last couple of years, starting with broadening its reach to include curated dating services for couples (extending their user base and approach beyond just the singles market). More recently, the company purchased popular online dating site, and added three new content websites to the mix to offer editorial on dating advice, celebrities, sex, relationships, and other hot topics.

Did it spread itself too thin?

According to the New York Times, How About We co-founder Aaron Schildkrout (now the chief executive for This Life, Inc., the parent company of How About We) thinks this will only broaden their opportunities. “We spent the last five years building and scaling HowAboutWe; our unique ‘offline dating’ experience has been used by millions of people and has helped many, many people fall in love. Our new partnership with IAC will help us bring this dating experience to an even larger number of people than ever before.”

This contradicts his statements earlier this year, where he positioned the company to compete heavily with IAC. “The online dating business is completely monopolized — IAC owns online dating,” Schechter told Fortune in January. “So what we’re trying to do is build a media company whose sole focus is love. And we think that’s the way to beat IAC.”

The How About We dating service and media properties were sold to IAC, but a portion of the company remains independent: the couples service. Last month, employees were reportedly left in the dark about whether or not they would be fired in the wake of the acquisition, with some being promised they would stay only later to find that offer recanted.

According to the New York Times, some employees will be moving to IAC, others will be staying to work on the couples service, and some have been laid off.