The international dating scene is swiping right on Tinder, helping spark a 17 percent surge in total average subscribers in the last quarter for parent company Match Group Inc.
The online dating company owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp beat analysts’ average estimates in nearly every metric in the fourth quarter, though the forecast for revenue in the current quarter missed expectations. The company projected revenue of $455 million to $465 million, lower than the $470 million average estimate. Match also announced it acquired all of the remaining shares in Hinge — adding yet another digital courtship site to its belt.
Revenue in the three months ended Dec. 31 increased 21 percent to $457 million. Analysts had forecast $449 million. Adjusted earnings per share was 39 cents, beating the average estimate of 38 cents. The shares jumped 11 percent in extended trading. They ended the day down 4.7 percent to $53.08.
Chief Executive Officer Mandy Ginsberg said 2018 marked “the best year in our history for shareholders.”
Since Match went public in 2015 its market capitalization has tripled, largely buoyed by Tinder, where users swipe right on their smartphone screen to indicate interest in a potential date. In the fourth quarter, Tinder gained 233,000 new subscribers, boosting total average subscribers to 4.35 million. Direct revenue growth at Tinder increased 57 percent in the quarter.
Growth at Tinder was largely fueled by international markets. The app is now available in 190 countries and 46 languages. Looking forward, Ginsberg said Match would focus on emerging dating markets such as Japan, India and South Korea. Match has started to invest in television advertising tailored toward different cultures to ramp up its international Tinder subscriptions, she said.
There are more than 600 million internet-connected singles in the world, Ginsberg said, and two thirds haven’t dabbled with online dating — yet. In the last quarter, international average subscribers climbed 23 percent, more than double the pace of growth in North America.
Aside from Tinder, Match also runs subscription-based online dating sites OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, Hinge and dozens of others. Users pay a premium for more services that allow them to see who is interested in them or to ‘super like’ a potential romantic partner.
Last year, Match acquired a controlling stake in Hinge, which marketed itself as the anti-Tinder dating app. Tinder is popular among the college crowd and widely known as a “hookup” app, whereas Hinge claims to cater to millennials who are looking for a more serious relationship.