Match Group, the company that oversees online dating services such as Tinder, Match.com and OkCupid, filed to go public Friday despite an unsteady stock market that has led several companies to recently pull IPO plans.
Internet media company IAC controls 100% of Match Group, but said in June that it would publicly sell less than 20% of the dating division to inject fresh capital into the fast-growing business. Match Group’s Securities and Exchange Commission filing notes a goal of raising $100 million through the IPO, though such figures are typically revised before the company begins trading. It's seeking a listing on Nasdaq under the ticker MTCH.
“I've long felt that as entities grow into size and maturity, it's healthy to give them separation and independence from a mother church," IAC Chairman Barry Diller said in a prepared statement in June.
But this week grocery store chain Albertsons and retailer Neiman Marcus postponed IPO plans because of a volatile market that has made it hard for companies to command the valuations they desire. Others who have gone public this year haven't seen shares take off as hoped for in their debuts.
If the Match Group IPO goes through, it would be a major mark of success for the Los Angeles tech community. IAC incubated West Hollywood-based Tinder at its offices in L.A. In three years, Tinder has become one of the top revenue-generating apps in the United States, a major reason for analysts' excitement about the company's fortunes.
Match says a single dating app can’t serve the varying needs of the half a billion people it estimates could benefit from online dating, so its approach has been to run many of them. By sharing strategies and resources across the network, the company thinks it can hold down costs.
Match Group, based in Dallas, now operates 45 brands, reaching 59 million users across 38 languages and 190 countries. The apps generate revenue through fees for special features and subscriptions, with about 4.7 million paying members across the portfolio as of Sept. 30.
Ads are also part of the mix, especially to make money off the younger-skewing, less affluent audience of Tinder. The company said it’s selling just 2% of Tinder’s potential ad inventory so far.
Match did not separate the financial performance of each service, but said that together they brought in $49.3 million in profit on $484 million in revenue during the first six months of this year. That was up just 0.7% in earnings and nearly 15% in revenue from the same period last year. The company has been plugging more resources into new features and hires, including at Tinder, which has 72 employees. Match Group has 1,600 employees overall.
Educational companies Tutor.com and the Princeton Review are also part of Match Group, accounting for about 10% of revenue. Match said their fee-based business models are similar to the know-how needed to run the dating apps.
IAC will continue to run websites such as Dictionary.com, About.com and CollegeHumor.