OPW EXCLUSIVE by Mark Brooks - Sep 29 - The Matchmaker.com, .net & .co domains have been acquired for $150k to an undisclosed party. Estibot estimates Matchmaker.com is worth $275k, with the .net coming in at $14k. Domains aren't worth what they used to be worth, but this appears to be a good buy of a hallmark and historical dating domain.
Matchmaker dates back to 1983 when it was an early dating bulletin board on the BBS. Matchmaker.com was started in 1995 (per the copyright note) and first appeared on Wayback Engine (WBE) in Jan 1998 when it was a 'Pen-pal network' with 419k visits to the site. One year later it had 2m members and was getting 31k new members a week.
Back then I remember that Internet dating was really a two horse race between Match.com and Matchmaker.com.
In July 2000 NY Times reported the search engine Lycos bought it for $44m. By Oct 2000 Matchmaker.com had a facelift and had '2.6 million registered users.'
NY Times reported that "Matchmaker was founded in 1984 as a telephone dating service, evolved into a bulletin board system and went online in 1996."
It mired under Lycos as Match.com continued to pull into the lead. I remember while I was VP at Cupid.com in 2004 talking to Lycos about creating "Lycos Dating Search" a central dating search database. (see news). A few early dating sites signed up including LoveAccess, Tickle and TRUE. Cupid did not. I remember the CPA's seemed onerous, the strategy not a good fit for Cupid, and I didn't like the idea of sending a flat file of user profiles over to Lycos every couple of weeks.
Matchmaker.com fell further behind Match.com as Lycos faultered against the rise of Yahoo and Google. It sold in Feb 2006 to Avalanche Media, which also owned Date.com, and in March 2006 was relaunched as a white label of date.com.
Alas, Avalanche Media missed the mobile wave, the owners had a spat, and Matchmaker.com was shuttered in 2016 when the CTO/Co-founder pulled the plug on it. Now it has found a new home. Watch this space.