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Many sites make use of complex algorithms to try and match you with people with similar world views and opinions. There are also dedicated sites to different demographics, from single parents and vegetarians to dog lovers and sci-fi fans, but here are the top 10.
Online Dating Sites Top 10
(by estimated monthly unique visitors)
|8||MeetMe, Inc.||1.525.827||Exited||$17.1M||New Hope|
Most are located in the United States…
But a few Asian companies and a Canadian company have also made their way onto the top 10 dating sites list.
India-based Shaadi is dedicated to connecting soulmates and aims to help people find someone to marry. China’s most popular dating sites, Jiayuan and Baihe are both focused on marriage and Jiayuan even launched a spin-off wedding planning service Xique.com.
Canada-based AshleyMadison operates in several countries (especially in Europe) and has caused much controversy for being targeted at people already in relationships.
Zoosk is the newest company of the list (launched in 2007), but has been very popular thanks to its Facebook app and mobile app. It uses gamification, targets relatively young users and operates in over 70 countries!
eHarmony is perhaps the most meticulous of the sites, making new users answer over 250 questions before deciding whether or not they are eligible for the matching process!
Online Dating Sites Acquisitions
Match.com is a true veteran, having launched back in 1995 and was acquired by IAC/InterActiveCorp, which also bought OkCupid several years later (in 1999 and 2011 respectively). IAC/InterActiveCorp additionally owns a large number of other popular (non-dating) sites, including About.com, Ask.com and CollegeHumor.
Other exits include Adult FriendFinder, bought by Penthouse Media Group in 2007, MeetMe (known as myYearbook up until 2012 and more aimed at platonic friendships), acquired by Quepasa in 2011 and AshleyMadison, acquired by Avid Life Media in 2007.
Business Models and Funding
The majority of the sites work on a freemium business model in which signing up and creating a profile is free, but you have to pay to upgrade your account in order to access most features. For example, on some sites you need to pay in order to message someone.
A curious thing is that OkCupid, with the most monthly visitors, has only raised $6.0M, while eHarmony has raised well over $100M more! Yet OkCupid is in 1st place with over 23 million visitors and eHarmony in 9th place with just under 6 million. Zoosk has also raised a large amount of funding, but that has allowed it to go from a startup to a leading dating platform in a relatively short amount of time.
In addition to Zoosk having a popular mobile app, also OkCupid, Match.com, Shaadi.com, AshleyMadison, Jiayuan, MeetMe and eHarmony can be found in the App Store and/or GooglePlay.