Spark Networks

Spark Networks Reports Earnings For The First Half Of 2019

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America's second largest dating company, Spark Networks SE, has reported its first half 2019 financial results. The company's growing portfolio of premium and freemium dating apps includes EliteSingles, Jdate, Christian Mingle, eDarling, JSwipe, Silversingles and, following an acquisition earlier this year, Zoosk.

For the first half of 2019, Spark Networks reported revenue of €49.2 million, a decrease of 7.1% from €53.0 million in the first half of 2018, and a decrease of 4.5% from €51.5 million in the second half of 2018. The company attributes the decline in revenue to a 9% drop in Average Paying Subscribers year-on-year.

Net Loss was €4.9 million in the first half of 2019. This is an increase of €3.8 million compared to €1.1 million in the first half of 2018, and an increase of €2.9 million compared to €2.0 million in the second half of 2018. Spark Networks attributes the year over year increase in Net Loss to the higher professional fees associated with its $255 million acquisition of Zoosk.

Spark Buys Zoosk for $258 Million

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CEO of Spark Networks Jeronimo Folgueira and outgoing CEO of Zoosk Steven McArthur
Image: Zoosk

Online dating conglomerate Spark Networks announced its purchase of Zoosk for $258 million USD. The popular dating app was acquired with a combination of cash and stock, and Spark will have full ownership of Zoosk shares.

According to the terms of the deal, Spark will issue 12,980,000 ADSs (American Depository Shares) to former Zoosk shareholders, valued at $152 million based on the closing price of Spark ADSs of $11.78 on June 28, 2019. It also provides for a cash consideration of $150 million, subject to adjustment, according to the company’s press release. Former Zoosk shareholders owned 49 percent of the company.

Tinder Dethrones Netflix As Top-Grossing Non-Game App In Q1 2019

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Top Dating Apps
Image: Sensor Tower

After more than two years in the top spot, Netflix is no longer the world’s highest-grossing non-gaming mobile app. That title now goes to Tinder, which grossed $260.7 million from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store in the first quarter of this year.

App store intelligence firm Sensor Tower recently released its rankings of the highest grossing apps in the United States and worldwide for Q1 2019. Overall, global app revenue reached $19.5 billion last quarter, up nearly 17 percent year-over-year. Consumer spending on Apple’s App Store totaled approximately $12.4 billion globally, while Google Play revenue grew 20.2 percent year-over-year to approximately $7.1 billion. The world is increasingly moving to mobile, and for companies that are prepared to capitalize on the change, the potential for profit is huge.

Spark Networks Set To Acquire Zoosk In $255 Million Deal

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Spark Networks Acquires Zoosk

Spark Networks SE announced its entry into a definitive agreement to acquire Zoosk, Inc. With the addition of Zoosk, Spark Networks will more than double in size and reach over one million monthly paying subscribers across the two platforms. Spark Network's current portfolio of online dating brands includes EliteSingles, SilverSingles, Christian Mingle, Jdate, eDarling, JSwipe, Attractive World, Adventist Singles and LDS Singles.

Under the terms of the agreement, Spark Networks will acquire 100 percent of Zoosk's shares with a combination of cash and stock valuing the company at approximately $255 million based on the closing price of Spark Networks SE stock on March 20, 2019.

"Zoosk is one of the strongest dating apps in the North American market, which comprises half of the $5 billion global online dating opportunity," said Jeronimo Folgueira, Chief Executive Officer of Spark Networks SE. "Similarly, North America has been a key strategic market for Spark, and the focal point for our growth initiatives. Our deal with Zoosk creates the second largest online dating platform in North America and the second largest publicly-listed dating company in the world.” (Match Group is the largest)

Zoosk Study Finds Gen Z Daters to be Most Open-Minded

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Zoosk Generation Z Study

Dating apps have taught us to be discerning and to not waste time on matches who don’t meet our requirements. After all, there are so many choices! But Gen Z is about to change things with a different attitude and approach.

Dating app Zoosk analyzed more than 5.7 million of its profiles and surveyed over 4,000 daters on the site to see where the differences between the generations lie when it comes to dating preferences. As it turns out, Generation Z (the youngest group of dating app users) tend to have a much healthier approach to dating than Millennials, Gen X and baby boomers.

According to an article in Marketwatch outlining the study, Gen Z are the least picky daters, and swipe yes to 33% of potential matches. This is 15% more than millennials and 20% more than Gen X and baby boomers. This increases the odds of meeting in person and having more dates, but younger daters are also typically less interested in more serious relationships and opt to meet more people instead.

Spark Networks Ordered To Repay Nearly $1 Million To Customers

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Spark Networks USA, the Los Angeles-based parent company of numerous niche dating sites including Jdate and Christian Mingle, has agreed to pay $500,000 in penalties and up to $985,000 in restitution to customers after settling a consumer protection action. The money will be paid to users whose subscriptions automatically renewed without notification or who were denied refunds.

Under federal and California state law, consumers must be notified if a subscription is automatically renewed and must give their “express, affirmative consent” before any money is collected. Spark Networks failed to provide clear notification of subscription renewals, according to the settlement, and offered users no opportunity to indicate their consent via a check-box or similar form. The consumer protection action was pursued upon discovery of this violation.

“Consumers always have the right to know where their money is going and companies must comply with California’s laws in order to ensure that consumers understand certain transactions will renew automatically,” San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said in a statement. “This joint effort is a great example of how our Consumer Protection Unit works to protect people from unfair business practices in the marketplace and ensure that California’s consumer protection laws are followed.”