MARKETWATCH - Apr 23 - Avid Life Media, the parent company of Ashley Madison, hopes to raise $200M in an IPO in London later this year. Ashley Madison makes up ~70% of Avid's $150M annual revenue, says Noel Biderman, CEO of the site. AM alone has ~33M members worldwide with 2.3M active users. The IPO plans may be mere flirtation with the media or a way to attract a suitor keen to invest. AM has little direct competition. "The entire business is built on the premise that few will follow," says Mark Brooks, a dating-industry analyst and the editor of Online Personals Watch. "It’s simultaneously brilliant and despicable. It gets people talking, which is also good for business."
Mark Brooks: I can't quite see investors voting this one up. But I could be very wrong. It will be a fascinating experiment in public acceptance. Is philandering and lying in vogue? Will it be palatable in the financial community. God, I really hope not. As much as it might be a part of daily life for many. I think we need to be more honest and open. I refuse to accept that society accepts 'cheating.' It seems to be the antithesis of where trusting, loving relationships that produce loving families, should end up. Noel knows this. But money is blinding, and plentiful in the philanderers niche.