Social dating service Zoosk got its start as a Facebook app, but in the last year it’s managed to break away from its reliance on the huge social network, while growing revenue more than 250% to $90 million.
Zoosk cofounder Shayan Zadeh explained that only about 25% of the site’s customers now come from Facebook, with most coming through its iPhone and Android apps or straight through the Zoosk.com home page.
Zadeh explained that Facebook is really focused on mapping the existing social connections among users, but has little way for users to discover interesting strangers in their area, which leaves a niche for dating sites to exploit. It’s almost exactly the same point Greg Tseng, CEO of social network Tagged, made the other day.
Unlike Tagged, Zoosk isn’t profitable yet — Zadeh says the company has plowed all its revenue toward customer acquisition, and it now has between 15 million and 20 million monthly active users. Most of the company’s revenue comes from subscribers who pay between $13 and $30 per month for features like unlimited messaging and the ability to send virtual gifts.