DEAL REPORTER - Aug 24 - OPW - Aug 24 - As The Match Group moves toward an IPO, it must use its size advantage to overcome the difficulties that have plagued other dating companies that have gone public. FriendFinder traded on NASDAQ and was delisted in 2013 for failing to trade above the USD 1 level. Zoosk filed for an IPO in 2014, intending to raise more than USD 100m, but withdrew the application citing unfavorable market conditions. In the past 2 years, shares of Snap Interactive have not been above the USD 1 mark with stock plunging 85%, and Spark Networks has seen its stock decline 60%, to USD 3.11. Chinese dating firm Jiayuan International has seen its US-listed stock rise 22% in the last year, however, their success is partly a by-product of China's booming economy. "Match's size will be an advantage over other publicly traded dating entities," said Mark Brooks, an industry consultant with Courtland Brooks. Its scale and brand awareness means it probably pays much less to acquire new users. “This is very clearly a game of size,” Brooks asserted, adding that Match.com does not have to pay search giant Google for every new member because it has built a brand through time, helped by TV and radio advertising.
by David B. Wilkerson & Marina Temkin & Louise Bleakley
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