Contributed by: ElyseRomano Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 06:52 am
Talk about a power couple. PlentyOfFish, the world's largest online dating site, has acquired FastLife, the world's largest speed dating and singles event company. The combination of POF's massive influence in the online dating sphere with FastLife's global influence (the company currently operates in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK) is a recipe that could have a major impact on the future of the online dating industry.
"The direction of online dating is undeniably headed towards a merging of the online and offline worlds, so this is a major move towards changing the way single people meet and interact," said Markus Frind, founder and CEO of PlentyOfFish. He's right. Match.com hosts Stir events. HowAboutWe is founded on the idea of taking online dating offline. And location-based mobile apps that hook singles up for insta-dates with people nearby are more popular than ever.
"PlentyOfFish has always understood the importance of live events," Frind continued. "Currently our users host over 300 events worldwide each month. Now more than ever, we understand the importance of offering singles innovative, new ways of connecting face to face."
FastLife is the perfect partner for the next evolution of POF. FastLife was created by a husband and wife team, Justin and Annabelle Parfitt, in 2002. The site offers two different dating experiences. Evolved Speed Dating events are designed for everyone. Participants just need to register in order to view and book upcoming events that match their preferences. Prestige Speed Dating events are premium events for high income graduates who want to meet other successful professionals. These events are invitation only, and all participants are screened for ID, age, background, and status.
Current FastLife events cater to a wide range of interests, including Fit & Trim, Food and Wine Lovers, University Educated, Tall Men, and Travel Lovers. FastLife holds more than 2,400 events each year that draw a crowd of more than 60,000 urban professional singles and generate annual revenue of more than $2.5 million. Now, as a united front, PlentyOfFish and FastLife plan to roll out singles events across hundreds of untapped US cities over the course of the next year.
This is the first major acquisition for PlentyOfFish, but Frind swears it's far from the last. "PlentyOfFish will continue to grow our reach within the online dating industry," he said. "We want to invest over $30 million in the next 12 months."