Cupid plc (formerly Easydate plc), has reported their year-end results for 2010. Cupid’s blended network of casual and adult dating, white label, Indian dating site acquisitions and other interesting deals make them the fastest growing dating company of the moment.
Cupid is crushing it and its nice to have a new dating conglomerate to write about after so much Match.com news. Although Match is obviously looking at Cupid as a potential acquisition target, since Cupid could easily approach Meetic-level success in Europe due to the more diversified nature of their offerings, and we know how tight Match and Meetic are these days (very).
Networks of dating sites is where the action is.
The days of a single dating site startup overtaking the majors are over at least for five or so years. Zoosk had their $90 million year, but its pretty much impossible to achieve that kind of growth without a huge leg up (viral growth, no, finance, very difficult). Networks of dating sites is where the action is, usually run as public companies. Few can afford to enter a new market without a bare minimum of at the least a few million dollars or a strong partnership with local assets. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule ( and I do realize that I may sound like a broken record), but look at where the growth is and the type of companies making it happen.
Highlights from the very detailed financial report below, which makes IAC’s reporting of Match look overly sparse.
13 million registrants and over 9 million members in 29 countries
Revenue has more than tripled in the year growing from £8.5M in 2009 to £25.7m in 2010, and EBITDA has grown from £1.2m in the year to 31 December 2009 to £5.6m in 2010 (367%).
Organic UK revenues increased by 101% to £15.1m (FY09: £7.5m)
International expansion continues with 42% of Q4 revenues from outside the UK (FY09: 13%)
Strong cash flows of £5.1m from operating activities in FY10
Cash position increased to £6.0m at 31 Dec 2010 (31 Dec 2009: £0.2m)
In December 2010 the Cupid network of sites had 7.3m monthly active users (MAU) on its Facebook applications. (bigger than Zoosk?)
Both Allegran and Cupid acquisitions performing exceptionally well
Establishing strong foothold into North American market
Launched Smartphone versions of products
Rapid growth of Facebook user sign ups
Rapid growth in user key metrics
Goal is to have more than 50% of revenues coming from overseas by the end of 2011, while continuing UK growth.
Cupid should Buy Spark Networks
The success of Cupid underscores the fact that Spark Networks is missing out on some enormous opportunities. I wanted to see Spark act more like Cupid and get aggressive with acquisitions and International deals instead of passively sitting back and letting the marketplace trample them. Maybe this is their wakeup call. Perhaps Cupid will outright acquire Spark. It would certainly be interesting to see what Cupid would do with the Spark portfolio of dating sites.
Ruminations indeed, but worth pondering, especially if you want to get in on the action of publicly-traded dating sites. And no, I don’t own any stock in any companies I talk about.