The Scoop: Dating Group is now the world’s largest global dating company and oversees more than 33 platforms that connect singles worldwide. The Group’s recent acquisition of Cupid Media grew the company to a projected annual revenue of $300 million, reflecting increased interest in dating-related services due to the isolation felt during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company uses advertising and state-of-the-art technology to market some of the most popular sites and apps around the world.
Dating Group recently announced its acquisition of Cupid Media, an international dating firm. The move positions Dating Group as one of the industry’s leading companies.
Bill Alena, Dating Group Chief Investment Officer, said the move resulted from the dramatic shifts singles and couples made in their behavior during and after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the world.
“The accelerated digital shift we’re seeing as a result of global lockdowns has led to a new era of online dating. People want to form genuine relationships wherever they are and regardless of the channel,” Bill said. “With the acquisition of Cupid Media, we’re excited to continue to expand our reach and ignite more conversations and social connections around the world.”
Dating Group executives announced their intent to acquire Cupid Media in July 2021. In the end, the company ended up spending $51 million in cash and earn-out to make its plans a reality.
“Our vision is to enable people around the world to connect and date safely. We have more than 73 million users from almost 100 countries represented on all of our platforms, so each platform is tailored to the community it serves based on interests, demographics, and region,” Bill told us.
The announcement came as dating professionals see significant changes in the industry as a whole. At first, as singles focused on local health guidelines, dating apps and websites throughout the industry saw a sudden downturn in use. However, that quickly changed.
“The dating industry experienced many challenges during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic amid social distancing restrictions, but people quickly returned to social discovery platforms and dating apps as a way to stay connected,” Bill said. “Our acquisition of Cupid Media has come at an ideal time, as both our companies have seen record user engagement.”
Solidifying as One of the World’s Largest Dating Companies
Dating Group executives were eager to acquire Cupid Media because it operated 33 websites and had a global presence that transcended cultures, genders, locations, and preferences.
Cupid Media was also thrilled to join the Dating Group fold.
“We’re excited to join Dating Group, a leader in the dating industry, for this next step of our journey,” said Jason Johnson, Cupid Media CMO. “While we’re proud of the team and community we’ve created, the synergy between our companies can lead to new opportunities that might not otherwise have been possible. We look forward to seeing what’s next.”
Dating Group has offices in seven countries and a team of more than 500 professionals working on its sites. That means many singles who have sought a love connection online have probably done so with the help of Dating Group.
It oversees brands that include Dating.com, DateMyAge, Promise, Tubit, ChinaLove, Dil Mil, and many more. It also operates Once, a slow dating site made in response to the backlash singles had to what is often called “swipe fatigue.”
“We’ve seen slow dating grow throughout the pandemic, as more people have focused on forming relationships before meeting in person, if at all,” Bill said. “Moving forward, we expect to see more people focused on developing digital relationships, so our products and services will be geared toward nurturing these kinds of relationships through voice, video, etc.”
The sites in Dating Group’s portfolio of platforms are available in nearly 100 countries throughout the world on all platforms, including mobile versions on iOS and Android.
The company’s goal is to help people connect and date safely, all while enjoying the entertainment of a virtual community. That’s been especially important in recent times when more singles than ever have reported feelings of loneliness and even depression.
“We believe in digital intimacy and solving for loneliness,” Bill said. “We want to create platforms where people from all over the world, all backgrounds and all ages can meet, make friends and spend time together in the digital world, even if they never have an intention of getting together offline.”
Changing the Online Romance Industry for the Better
Dating Group creates a variety of niche platforms for singles looking for specific types of relationships. The focus on different audiences allows users to get past the people who don’t fit their desires and instead meet those with shared interests.
Each of the Dating Group sites is tailored to a community of singles defined by interest, geography, or other demographics, including religion. For example, Dil Mil is a matchmaking and dating app designed for South Asian expats with over 100,000 installs
“Our focus as a dating company is to create experiences that resonate with our users based on where they live, their interests, their values, and other important factors,” Bill said. “As such, each of our dating sites plays an important role in our overall strategy.”
Cupid Media, meanwhile, operated 33 specialized niche dating sites. It launched in 2000 and has helped millions of people look for love, no matter how they define success. The technology company recognized the power of refining an audience to help singles find their perfect match.
“People have different dating styles and preferences. Some prefer Tinder-style dating; others prefer more intimate experiences. Increasingly, we’re seeing demand for social experiences that spark new connections beyond the boundaries of dating,” Bill said. “What’s clear is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach in dating, so we’re looking to cater to all types of people and personalities by continuously expanding our portfolio with innovative new products and features.”
Dating Group Plans Further Innovation
Cupid Media executives will integrate into the Dating Group leadership team over the upcoming year as part of the acquisition. That means the institutional knowledge and experience from its years in the industry won’t be lost.
Now, Cupid Media’s 11 core sites, including AsianDating, LatinAmericanCupid, Muslima, FilipinoCupid, ThaiCupid, and InternationalCupid, fall under the Dating Group portfolio. This will create new cross-promotional opportunities for advertising and other investment interests.
They expect the combined sites will boast an average of 7 million monthly active users, with 1.2 million singles using the sites every day. That’s more than any other company in the dating industry can count.
However, Dating Group won’t rest on its laurels after such a significant move. It continues updating its technology to meet the ever-changing needs of modern singles.
“We’re continuing to expand our product portfolio in regions around the world. As a company, we’re focused on three main areas: international dating, which is essentially long-distance dating for people looking to connect as they travel or with people from their home country; Venture Studio, which is a studio we’ve created to build products focused on the next evolution of dating; and a VC fund, which funds projects focused solely on the dating ecosystem, such as S’More,” Bill told us.
Dating Group plans to build new social networking apps and tools focused on entertainment, gaming, and meeting new people in the upcoming months. Looking to the future, the company is working with advertisers and brands to create industry partnerships and allow users to learn about interesting new people.