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Match.com Acquires OKcupid for $50 Million


(Online Dating Magazine - February 4, 2011) There is a business addage that says, "if you can't beat them, acquire them." After failing to succeed with its free Down to Earth online dating service, Match.com acquired free online dating service OKcupid.com for $50 million.

Match.com, a paid online dating service, spent millions launching and promoting a free online dating service, Down to Earth, but couldn't gain traction like the two market leaders - OKcupid.com and Plenty of Fish. So Match.com changed its strategy and spent tens of millions to acquire OKcupid.com.

"OKcupid has been a real innovator in our space, and the dating environment they've created has struck a chord with a younger demographic," says Greg Blatt, CEO of IAC which owns Match.com.  I think it's clearly the best site in its competitive set, with better features and a more distinctive personality than any other advertising-based site. We know that many people who start out on advertising-based sites ultimately develop an appetite for the broader feature set and more committed community, which subscription sites like Match.com and Chemistry.com offer, creating a true complimentary relationship between our various business models.  2010 saw record growth both for Match and OKcupid, and we believe coordinating the adjacent business models will help fuel continued growth for both.  This acquisition therefore goes a long way toward our objectives of bringing new people into the online dating world, offering the ability to meet in whatever type of online setting, and at whatever commitment level, our members desire, and facilitating a seamless evolution of the online dating experience without ever having to leave our portfolio of sites."

For now OKcupid.com will stay the same, including the foundeers of the site staying on board to run it. IAC and Match.com have no current plans to change it from a free service to a paid service. The goal is to keep it free and make money from advertising.

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