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The Company That Owns Tinder And OkCupid Is Going Public

The owner of Tinder, OkCupid, and more than 40 other dating brands, filed to go public on Friday after 5 p.m — prime swiping hours indeed.

Posted on October 16, 2015, at 7:32 p.m. ET

Tinder / Via Facebook: tinder

Match Group, the owner of OkCupid, Tinder, — and, strangely enough, the Princeton Review — just filed to go public.

The filing provides a rare opportunity to examine the past, present and future monetization of your love life, and offers some clues on how today's most popular dating services are likely to change in coming years. Match Group's parent IAC, a conglomerate that also owns CollegeHumor and Vimeo, announced in June that its board approved an IPO. It will retain control of the company's board.

Match Group has more than 40 dating brands including PlentyOfFish, Meetic, Twoo, OurTime, BlackPeopleMeet and FriendScout24, and it hopes to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker "MTCH." Its goal is "to increase romantic connectivity worldwide."

Below, 11 of the most interesting points from the filing.

1. You're almost definitely going to see more advertising on Tinder.

Match Group / Via Facebook: tinder

Ad revenue hasn't "been a principal focus for us," and as a result, is "substantially below what we should be able to achieve," the company said. "Part of our strategy is to meaningfully increase the sell-through at our Tinder brand, which is currently below 2% of available ad inventory, and to meaningfully increase the percentage of ad inventory on our other brands sold on a direct basis, which currently is below 2% of total ad inventory sold."

2. You're not alone! Match says its target market of "people who are not in a committed relationship and who have access to the internet" numbers 511 million adults.

Jack Taylor / AFP / Getty Images

That includes adults in North America, Western Europe and other "select countries around the world," based on a Research Now survey in July 2015.

3. Match Group says it had 59 million monthly active users but just 4.7 million paid members as of Sept. 30, across all its brands.

Jack Taylor / AFP / Getty Images

That means a lot of people are using the sites' free features. Unsurprisingly, Match wants to increase both the percentage of users who pay up, and the amount they pay over time.

4. It's spent more than $1.2 billion on acquisitions since 2009 to buy companies including OkCupid, Twoo, Meetic and PlentyOfFish.


5. Its users have gotten way younger in the past few years as it's added cheaper, mobile products. As of June 30, 62% of its users are under 35, compared with 36% at the end of 2011.

Donald Bowers / Getty Images

"We view this significant increase in younger users as a positive indicator of future growth, given the significantly greater duration we have to potentially engage these users within our portfolio," the filing stated.

6. IAC bought the Princeton Review last year for more than $100 million, which became Match Group's "non-dating" segment. The logic: it "relies on many of the same competencies as our dating business."

The Princeton Review / Via Facebook: ThePrincetonReview

Match Group's non-dating revenue from Princeton Review basically all comes from students. The company reasons that this academic business can benefit from Match's competencies including "paid customer acquisition, a combination of free and paid features, deep understanding of the lifetime values of customers, and strong expertise in user interface development," the company said.

7. Match Group brought in about $888 million in revenue last year, an 11% increase, and posted an adjusted profit of $273.4 million.

Ted Aljibe / AFP / Getty Images

8. The company says that 89% of singles in North America recognize at least one of its brands when shown a list of dating brands.

Match Group / Via

9. Cell phones have changed the game: 68% of new users signed up for Match Group's products via mobile in the first half of this year, compared with 27% in the same period two years ago.

Cole Bennetts / Getty Images

"Tinder, a mobile-only product, has been able to tap into this audience rapidly over the last few years," the company said. "Additionally, in previously desktop-oriented products like Match, the shift to mobile has led to increased usage of our products, as mobile users on average access our products at meaningfully higher rates than do those users who access our products on desktop."

10. The company actually noted that a decline in the usage of email "particularly among our younger users," could be a risk for its business.

Michael Coghlan / Via Flickr: mikecogh

"Our ability to communicate via email enables us to keep our users updated on activity with respect to their profile, present or suggest new or interesting users from the community, invite them to offline events and present discount and free trial offers, among other things," Match Group said. "Any erosion in our ability to communicate successfully with our users via email could have an adverse impact on user experience and the rate at which non-paying users become paid members."

11. Match just announced the biggest acquisition in the matchmaking industry in July, with its $575 million proposed purchase of PlentyOfFish, which was founded in 2003. The purchase has yet to close.


PlentyOfFish "has a broader age distribution, and less urban concentration, than both OkCupid and Tinder," the company said.

Stevanovicigor / Getty Images

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.