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Online Dating Industry Update 12-9-12

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That’s One Way To Do It: Every once in a while a single person gets tired of online dating and decides to go big and buy a billboard. This one is somewhere in San Diego.

IAC Says No Plan To Bid For Cupid: Surprised they even mentioned they weren’t interested, they usually don’t do that.

These acquisition rumors have felt off from the first time I heard them. I’m sure Match did some due diligence on them (they do that on all their competitors), but I never really bought into the idea that Cupid was a frontrunner for their next acquisition. Doubtful Match would consider acquiring Cupid PLC for several reasons: $400 million is a big price tag, far out of the range Match has spent previously. Cupid has too much adult content on their networks and I would think that Match doesn’t have the bandwidth to deal with another acquisition right now.

I could be off with this and Match could announce another acquisition tomorrow, but it seems they have their hands full with Meetic, OkC, SinglesNet, oops I mean DateHookup, and other ongoing initiatives.

Now potential acquirers, if there are any, will ask Cupid, “So we heard IAC wanted to buy you, why did they back off?” Potentially damaging move on their part.

IAC (Match parent company, of which it is responsible for the lion’s share of revenue) was just “slashed to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. Concerns include decelerating search queries and an ongoing industry shift towards mobile. The price objective is cut by $11 to $42.”

In other Cupid news, they announced the appointment of Niall Stirling as Chief Financial Officer. Stirling was CFO of Red Bull North America Inc. from 2006 to 2008. Current CFO Mark Doughty will remain on the Board and assume the role of Commercial Director.

Also announced:

Phil Gripton as Managing Director of Dating Services.

Current Head of Operations Vladimir Levykin will assume the new role of Managing Director of Social Discovery.

Current Director of Marketing Tatyana Seredyuk transitioning to be Senior VP, North America in San Francisco.

Powered by Dating Factory, Relationship.com Is currently offering people the chance to sign up to its dating network for free. That is an incredible domain name, like having dating.com, which amazingly enough is an escort service search engine.

What The Dating Industry Can Learn From News Aggregators: Prismatic Gets $15M From Jim Breyer And Yuri Milner To Attack The Impossible Problem Of Bringing You Relevant News. Via TechCrunch. How cool would it be to see a dating site put $15 million into improving their matching algorithms based on our social network exhaust? I can dream…

Neopagan niche dating site

I would love to see dating sites partner with Big Data (ugh!) companies like Cloudera.

Niche dating site of the week: Pagan Dating Service.

Coming Out On Top: A Gay Dating Sim Video Game (what?). Over-funded on Kickstarter.

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