Online dating apps are a great way to discover a new squeeze but eventually the two people have to meet.
This gave Markus Frind, CEO of PlentyofFish, and idea. How can dating sites do a better job of in-person meetups? PlentyofFish already conducts a lot of events. So he bought a company called FastLife, which puts together “speed dating” events in cities worldwide.
Speed dating is where singles briefly talk to everyone that attends an event, in the hopes that sparks will immediately fly. It turns out that it’s a very profitable part of the dating world, too, Frind says.
He didn’t disclose what he paid for the 13-employee company, based in San Francisco and Toronto, but it’s all part of his plan to invest $US30 million into his company to transform the online dating scene into something more.
Business Insider: How big will the combined dating sites be … how many users?
Markus Frind: FastLife is an offline dating business that generates revenue from hosting speed dating and singles’ events. We believe FastLife is the biggest speed dating company in the English speaking world. The user base is small but the company has a very strong ARPU [average revenue per user]. We will be heavily investing into this business (FastLife) and expanding it rapidly across the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia.
PlentyOfFish has 3.3 million daily users and 10 billion page views a month. PlentyOfFish users have been hosting user generated singles events since 2003. Our users host over 400 events a month with over 40,000 singles in attendance each month.
BI: How many employees will PlentyOfFish get with the acquisition?
MF: We will acquire 13 full-time employees. But the business depends on hosts who actually host the events. We will be hiring hundreds of hosts over the next year. The company currently has 80 hosts worldwide. We’re also acquiring offices in Canada, San Fran and Australia.
BI: By investing more than $US30M, does that mean you’re going to acquire more dating sites?
MF: It’s difficult to acquire other dating sites because PlentyOfFish has more active users. We are interested in finding businesses like FastLife that can greatly increase our monetization per use.