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Online dating group Match lifts IPO to US$536m

[NEW YORK] The online dating spinoff Match said Monday its market value could reach US$3.4 billion if Wall Street warms to its stock offering.

Match, which includes the popular app Tinder and other dating services including OK Cupid, said it now plans to raise up to US$536.7 million in its initial public offering (IPO), up from US$100 million in its initial filing last month.

Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission said the company being spun off IAC/InterActiveCorp, a US media and Internet giant chaired by former Fox chief executive Barry Diller, would sell 33.3 million shares on the Nasdaq at a price of between US$12 and $14.

Match operates a portfolio of more than 45 brands, which also include Meetic, Twoo and Friendscout24, saying its mission is "increase romantic connectivity worldwide," according to the filing.

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Altogether, the company said it offers dating products in 38 languages in 190 countries, with approximately 59 million monthly users total.

The Texas-based spinoff will offer a bit less than 16 per cent of its shares, with an option to sell five million more depending on demand.

The IPO will be among the largest in the tech sector this year along with that of mobile payments startup Square.

Many tech firms have decided to forego IPOs and raise large sums from private equity investors, and these firms with valuations of US$1 billion or more have become known as "unicorns." Square, founded by Twitter's Jack Dorsey, last week announced its IPO pricing which suggests a market value for Square of just over US$4 billion - well below the US$6 billion value assigned by private investors in its latest funding round.

Match earlier this year announced a deal to buy Canadian online dating service PlentyOfFish Media for US$575 million.

Aside from its dating businesses, Match also has a foot in the education space with its ownership of the test preparation and college advising company The Princeton Review.