01 Mar A Dallas Startup Made in Heaven: Match.com
Having launched all the way back in 1995, the Dallas-based matchmaking website Match.com has been around for almost as long as the Internet itself. But, the stigma of online dating back in the day was such a powerful force that the website’s success has been largely unheralded until now.
Still, the fact that the site is still going strong, with the largest share of the online dating industry (22 percent of the market) after 21 years makes it something of a role model for other Dallas startups, many of which fail to even get past the beta stage.
Despite the perceived shame of having to use an online dating platform to actually meet someone, Match.com proved to be an instant hit among unloved American singles, as stories of blossoming online relationships proved to be too irresistible for many a loveless soul.
The site grew from its $5 million valuation into a $55 million a year business within the first 12 months of its launch, and it has never looked back. By November 2004, nine years after it went live, Guinness World Records officially recognized Match.com as the world’s largest online dating site with more than 42 million registered singles in its database.
One of the main factors behind Match.com’s long-lasting stint as king of the online dating scene is leadership’s staunch belief that, no matter what, there will always be people out there looking to find the love of their lives.
“The idea of coupling and falling in love is so inherent in who we are, it’s not going away,” Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of Match.com, told D Magazine in a recent interview. “That feeling of going on a date and thinking, ‘Oh, this is going so well’ — that moment is our business.”
In other words, so long as people feel a need to find love, some of those people will always be looking for it online. It’s a fact that no one would argue with, especially not in a world where the stigma of online dating has faded away.
The other major factor behind Match.com’s longevity is it’s never been afraid to put its money where its mouth is. Match.com made its first major acquisition when it bought the website People Media from American Capital for $80 million back in 2009. Since then, the company has acquired or established alternative online dating brands with astonishing abandon, to the point where it now counts 45 different dating brands in its wider portfolio.
Match.com has also evolved with the time, embracing mobile in a big way – not only does more than 60 percent of its audience access the site via mobile devices now, but it’s also the owner of the world’s most popular dating app, Tinder, which shot to fame thanks to its casual “swipe” method of accepting or rejecting potential dates.
What with an audience of 59 million monthly active users across its sites, a reported $883.3 million in annual revenues and a valuation that’s reached some $3 billion, LaunchDFW believes it’s about time Match.com achieves the recognition it deserves for its runaway success.
Photo source: Pixabay
Blog post by: Mike Wheatley