This Match Is Going Public
An IPO for Those Who Think Love and Money Is a Match
The Match Group, home of the hugely popular dating apps and sites Tinder, Match, Chemistry, OurTime, and OkCupid, will issue an IPO in the fourth quarter. Mashable is calling it “the world’s flirtiest IPO.” Barry Diller’s InterActive Corp. (IAC), which owns the Match Group and a slew of other Internet brands, also appointed Joey Levin, formerly the CEO of IAC’s Search & Applications, CEO of IAC.
Back in 1995 when Match.com first debuted, people were skeptical of online dating, but today, dating apps and sites are big business. According to IBISWorld, dating sites are expected to bring in $1.17 billion in revenue this year, with apps totaling another $628.8 million. Online dating accounts for 48.7 percent of the revenue from U.S. dating services, but mobile dating apps such as Tinder are on the rise with 26.2 percent of the market.
Related: The Startup That Turned Down $30 Million from Mark Cuban
The largest dating service companies are the Match Group, eHarmony, Zoosk, Plenty of Fish, and Spark Networks. The Match Group leads the category, with nearly 22 percent share of the market. The Wall Street Journal reported the Match Group accounted for nearly one-third, or 29 percent, of IAC’s overall revenue in 2014. In the most recent quarter, the Match Group’s revenue was $239.2 million, or 30 percent of IAC’s revenue of $772.5 million.
With their portfolio of dating sites in more than 200 countries the Match Group is well positioned to market to the large generation of millennials worldwide. More than 7 million people sign up for their products every month.
Related: Love at First Byte: The Magic of Online Dating
As for what the Match Group’s ticker symbol might be on the stock exchange, the company’s lips are sealed. Many of the good ones are already taken. LOV belongs to rival Spark Networks, owner of JDate.com, ChristianMingle.com, and BlackSingles.com. DATE is the ticker symbol for Jiayuan, China’s largest dating site. LUV is taken by Southwest Airlines. Arrythmia Research Technology has HRT.
Apparently KISS is still available—if the Match Group gets lucky.
Chart of the Day: Long Way to Go on Coronavirus Testing
The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
After Spending $2 Billion, Air Force Bails Out on Planned Upgrades of B-2 Bombers
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Big Hurdle for Sanders’ Plan to Cancel Student Debt
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
Number of the Day: $7 Million
That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”