It’s been announced today that PlentyOfFish, which claims to be the be ‘the world’s largest online dating site’, is to be bought by Match Group for $575million (€522million) in cash.
Match Group is part of Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActive Corp. The ‘definitive agreement to purchase’ PlentyOfFish comes ahead of Match Group’s planned stock market flotation later this year, and will undoubtedly help boost the company’s initial share price.
PlentyOfFish launched in 2003 by Canadian entrepreneur Markus Frind. According to its website, it has 90million registered users and 3.6million daily users.
Although the vast majority of users are heterosexual people seeking long-term relationships, it also has gay and bisexual members – some of whom view it as an alternative to apps offering more instant hook-ups.
‘For over a decade I have followed the consistent growth of PlentyOfFish, first within North America, then globally, and most recently across platforms, as one of the most popular mobile dating products in the world,’ said Sam Yagan, CEO of The Match Group in a statement.
‘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.’
Match.com launched in 1995. Match Group also owns Tinder, Meetic and OKCupid, among other brands. The deal is subject to approval from the Canadian minister of industry. Should approval be granted, the deal is expected to be finalized early in the fourth quarter of 2015.
According to a company statement, Match Group’s dating sites generated revenues of ‘more than $780 million and profits of more than $260 million in 2013.’
‘We are thrilled to be joining forces with Match,’ said Markus Frind, CEO of PlentyOfFish. ‘My team and I have grown PlentyOfFish into one of the leaders in our category, and I am confident that Match will help accelerate our growth even further.’
It was reported in May that Grindr, one of the world’s most popular dating apps for men, had engaged a company to advise it on the possibility of being sold. The organization has consistently declined to comment on the report.
Some business commentators have speculated that IAC/Interactive Corp might be interested in purchasing Grindr to further add to its roster of dating apps.
Approached for comment, a spokesperson for IAC told Gay Star Business: ‘We do not comment on rumors and speculation about transactions.’