Industry

By The Numbers: Online Dating In 2019 And Beyond

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With the launch of Match.com in 1995, the search for a partner was irrevocably changed. Technology, business and society have radically transformed the ways we meet, communicate, date, fall in love, get married and break up. The dating industry has experienced tremendous growth as an increasing number of consumers use the internet to seek love and the social stigma for doing so disappears. There are now around 2,000 dating services in North America and an estimated 8,000 around the world.

According to the market research firm IBISWorld, the dating sector grew by 11.9 percent over a five-year period to reach revenue of $3 billion in 2018. In the same timeframe, the number of businesses has grown by 1.0 percent and the number of employees has grown by 5.6 percent. Mobile dating applications now account for nearly a quarter of industry revenue, and their growth has rapidly outpaced that of other dating services.

Match Group - parent to Match.com, Tinder, OkCupid and others - remains a dominant force in the industry. The company brought in $1.7 billion in revenue in 2018. Tinder contributed nearly half of that ($805 million) thanks to the incredible success of its premium subscriptions. As of January 2018, Statista listed Tinder as the most popular dating service for US singles in the coveted 18-29 age range. Plenty of Fish (also owned by Match Group), Match.com, and OkCupid followed.

Why VCs Are Wary Of Swiping Right On Dating Startups

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The dating industry remains a firm favorite for entrepreneurs who dream of founding the next breakout startup. But for many big-time investors, new dating platforms are risky ventures in a crowded market that may not be worth betting on. In honor of Valentine’s Day, Crunchbase News took a look at the relationship between startups, investors and the pursuit of finding a mate. Their status? It’s complicated.

Online dating has proved it can be an enormously profitable industry, yet despite producing impressive numbers, it often struggles to lure venture funding. “In 2018,” writes Joanna Glasner, “venture investors put $127 million globally into 27 startups categorized by Crunchbase as dating-focused. While that’s not chump change, it’s certainly tiny compared to the more than $300 billion in global venture investment across all sectors last year.”

Global venture investment in dating startups currently leans heavily toward companies based in China. Blued, a China-based dating app for gay men, received nearly 80 percent of dating-related capital in 2018. In 2017, Chinese mobile dating app Tantan received the bulk of dating investment. In 2014, Beijing-based matchmaking site Baihe raised a staggering $250 million.

Coffee Meets Bagel Users Get Hacked on Valentine’s Day

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Users of the popular dating app Coffee Meets Bagel woke up to a surprise on Valentine’s Day. Instead of looking at matches, they were greeted with a notice from the company saying some of their personal data had been hacked.

According to a report from CNN, the data breach occurred a few days before on February 11, but CMB executives were trying to assess the situation and the extent of the damage. In their notice, the company stated that an “unauthorized party gained access to a partial list of user details.”

Their email goes on to say: “The affected information only includes your name and email address prior to May 2018. As a reminder, we never store any financial information or passwords.”

Match Group Stock Rises, Fully Acquires Dating App Hinge

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Match Group announced that it has fully acquired dating app Hinge, owning 100 percent of the company along with other high-profile brands like Tinder and OkCupid. This news comes on the heels of Match Group’s announcement that it exceeded revenue expectations in the last quarter of 2018, causing its stock to rise.

Previously, Match Group stock had been downgraded from hold to buy by Deutsch Bank analysts. But with the earnings report, its stock climbed more than 5 percent.

Part of the appeal of Match Group to investors is that it has acquired a host of popular dating apps, including Hinge. The app has been through a rebrand over the last year, focusing on attracting more serious daters.

eHarmony’s Future as Part of ProSeiben’s Parship Dating Service

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Online dating company eHarmony, who built its reputation for more serious daters, was recently acquired by German media company ProSeibenSat.1. The media company are the producers behind “Married at First Sight,” and have already expanded beyond television with the acquisition of Parship Elite Group, an online dating platform for long-term relationships similar to eHarmony.

It left many wondering what future plans were for eHarmony, which has seen competition lately from apps like Tinder and OkCupid, and how Parship fits into the mix.

Online Personals Watch recently interviewed Tim Schiffers, the CEO of Parship Elite Group about the acquisitions and Parship’s future plans. Schiffers said Parship plans to bring eHarmony to its platform instead of offering competing services. “We have invested a lot into our technical setup over the past few years and are happy to harness synergies in that area.”

Dating’s High Season Begins Sunday January 6th In Countdown to Valentine’s Day

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Sunday January 6th is the busiest day of online dating’s high season, with many people downloading apps and swiping right, hoping to find love in the cold winter months, also known as “cuffing season.”

More people are also motivated to find love thanks to New Year’s resolutions (and the cold weather). With the holidays behind us, January is the perfect time to adopt new habits, including trying a new dating app or rejoining one you’ve used before.

Research has shown over the years that the first Sunday of January is generally the best time to download a dating app and start swiping. Most apps have reported a surge in activity on this particular day, as well as generally increased activity during the month of January through February 14th.