LA DAILY NEWS -- June 4 -- While general online personals and dating sites have been around for years, a new online dating niche has emerged and is seeing surging growth in the LA area: Sites catering to ethnic groups. With an estimated 600,000 Iranians and 400,000 Armenians in LA -- the largest populations outside those countries -- the sheer size of the communities is fueling much of the growth. "I found this to be a great way to try to find Armenians. It brings the whole community together," ," a business owner said. That's the philosophy of Said Amin, CEO and founder of World Singles which runs IranianPersonals.com (120,000 members, 1/3 in LA), HyeSingles.com (16,000 members, 2/3 LA), and ArabLounge.com. JDate accounted for nearly 25% of Spark Networks' $65.1 million in revenues in 2004, and its online dating service has grown so large that it is rolling out premiere offerings to try to continue to attract and retain customers. In early May, it launched Joe's Club in LA in which provides personalized matchmaking at dinner tables of eight people, for an annual fee.
Mark Brooks: Culturally specific niche sites are some of the strongest. World Singles will also have an incredible word of mouth ad base in LA. Would be a good acquisition target. www.qiran.com is another site that was brought to my attention.