“And as the stigma of meeting a match online falls by the wayside, the industry’s growth is accelerating. Online dating revenues are growing 10 percent to 15 percent per year, on track to hit one point nine billion dollars within three years, according to Piper Jaffray. The pullback in consumer spending hasn’t slowed down the industry at all: if anything it seems to have made Americans more eager to settle down.”
A look at the online dating industry reveals that there a number of players already making great strides. The leading companies in the online game are; okaycupid, Lavalife, Plenty of fish, Match.com. E-harmony, Date Hookup and Yahoo Personals. It seems that online dating services have broken down the “datable” demographic into several categories to segment the population as follows; Million Plus members, Religious affiliation, Ethnicity, Seniors, Gay & Lesbian, Single Parents, Speed-dating, Wealth & Foreign Categories. “Those are staggering differences. It looks like dominance of a niche online dating segment means that marketing costs are relatively small and profitability through the roof.” It is estimated that the online dating market will reach $932 M in 2011, almost a billion dollars. Membership and advertising revenue driven, the industry is seen right now as one that is open competitively.
Seemingly, the online dating sector is one of the most competitive on the Web, as well as one of the least forgiving to newcomers. Even the pluckiest of entrepreneurs would be wise to examine the landscape carefully and consider the significant number of entry barriers before jumping in. Still, the most effective counter-argument against such outdated thinking may have come in the form of the 1998 film “You’ve Got Mail,” starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. “People did not have a good understanding of what Internet dating was, and there was some negativity about it before the film made falling in love with someone you met on the Web an okay thing to do,” said Match.com’s Emily Livingston.
Easydate is the UK’s leading on line dating service, and operates a portfolio of sites in three clear consumer markets: Mainstream online dating and matchmaking; Niche dating services; and Social & Mobile services. Easydate began its international expansion in 2009 and continues to grow in all other English speaking territories out with the UK including India, and will launch in mainland Europe and Brazil in 2010. They also offer a White Label Platform to clients who wish to build their own dating service, but who wish to leverage their expertise and growing databases.
According to published reports, Easydate shares that 4 of the UK’s Top 15 dating sites belong to EasyDate’s exciting online dating portfolio and as we expand internationally and they plan to repeat that success elsewhere. The acquisition of Cupid.com by Easydate, allows the company to easily maximize their global strategy, moving them into the US/North American local markets. The company’s portfolio boasts 13 million profiles throughout the world with 6 million visits monthly and is available in 5 different languages. It was not a surprise therefore that Easy date would seek funding for their growth strategy via an IPO in order to bring in investors and give them a stake in the operations. With the decision to offer an IPO, Chief Executive Officer William Dobbie 49% stake in the company was reduced to 32% while, while Opalta Ltd.–a company controlled by Chief Operating Officer Maxym Polyakov stake at 41% was reduced to 27%. It makes absolute sense for business owners (and in this case Easydate) to give up some ownership in order to attract investors ‘” that can help to shoulder the risks and provide an infusion of capital, contacts and expertise to their enterprise. The current environment in the online dating industry is extremely competitive and the more financial strength and investor confidence a company can illustrate, the better their position and ultimately their arsenal for competing against and becoming the dominant market player. The IPO listing describes the Company as “an internet-based dating operator which provides dating services through several successful and complementary websites in the UK and certain other countries. It offers a wide variety of online dating services allowing members to interact with each other and access the content available on its websites.”
With the current growth and opportunity in the online dating market, Easy Date is gearing up to become a key player by going global with its operations and partnering with strong associates in order to be competitive and become a key company/brand. By taking the route of IPO, building their core business(es), while expanding internationally and by performing well for their stakeholders and shareholders thus far, they are proving that they deserve stock market placement as the IPO trends are illustrating.
So are you ready to be “courted” online? YOU’VE GOT MAIL (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCetfaS7GAo) !