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Spark Networks has JDate.com for Sale

January 4th, 2008 · No Comments

The New York Times has recently reported that the popular Jewish online dating service, JDate.com, is for sale by its parent company Spark Networks Inc. They are apparently in talks already with some major media companies like Yahoo Personals, Myspace (News Corp), eHarmony and the IACi that owns Match.com.

JDate.com has been one of the most successful niche dating sites in terms of converting free members to its premium paid subscription model. We have promoted several other religious niche sites with only half of the conversions that we see from JDate.com. JDate.com was started back in 1997 by Joe Y. Shapira and the publicly traded Spark Network has grown over the years to include other dating properties like AmericanSingles.com, BlackSingles.com, ChristianMingle.com and LDSMingle.com.

Spark Networks Inc. has a market cap of $131 million which has grown in the past few weeks probably because of the anticipation of an upcoming transaction. Comscore Media Metrix had Spark Network ranked No. 4 in November 2007 with around 2.45 million unique visitors. Spark reported $6.56 million in net income with revenue of $68.85 million for 2006. According to people close to the sale, Spark has hired the boutique investment bank AGM Partners to run the sale for them.

This could easily turn into a bid war amongst the suitors as the online dating industry struggles with drops in traffic and conversions this past year. JDate has a very strong and well respected brand in the Jewish community and is a very viral product considering very little is spent promoting it versus their mainstream brand AmericanSingles.com. I just pray that eHarmony doesn’t pony up the money, buy the site and run it into the ground with their religious biases.

Tags: Dating Industry News