is an online dating service
. The company reportedly has more than 15 million members and Web sites serving 37 countries in more than 12 different languages. Its headquarters are in Dallas
and the company also has offices in London
. Match.com is owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp
and employs more than 340 people worldwide. Match.com's nearly $350 million in revenue and 1.35 million paying subscribers place it atop the industry. It has been criticized in the past for not allowing gay or bi-sexual couples on the site, although recently it began serving the gay community. Current criticisms focus on their policy of automatic membership renewal via automatic credit card billing, unless the customer has specifically cancelled the service. In addition, arbitrary account suspensions (without refund of monies paid) due to suspicion of Terms of Service violation have been reported.
Match.com, started by Gary Kremen
and Peng T. Ong in 1994
, was one of the first consumer-oriented matching sites. It was started as a proof-of-concept
for Electric Classifieds which aimed to provide classified advertising systems for newspapers. Early on, Kremen was assisted by Peng T. Ong, who helped architect the initial system, and Simon Glinsky, who helped develop one of the first Internet business plans for Match.com and provided management and marketing expertise. The initial business scope developed by this team included a possible subscription model, now common among personals services, and inclusion of diverse communities with high first trial and market leaders status, including women, technology professionals and the GLBT community. Fran Maier
joined in late 1994 to lead the Match.com business unit where she significantly bolstered the strategy to make Match.com friendly and accessible to women (the men would then follow).
Match.com went live in early 1995 as a free beta. It was first profiled in Wired Magazine in 1995. By early 1996, Match.com instituted one of the first subscription business models on the internet.
In 1998, Match.com was purchased by Cendant. A year later Match.com was purchased by IAC/InterActiveCorp (then still operating under the name TicketMaster). Late 1999, Match.com was moved to Dallas, TX to merge with another matching site, One & Only networks, that IAC/InterActiveCorp had purchased the same year.
Between September 9th, 2004, and April 24, 2007 Jim Safka was the Chief Executive Officer of Match.com. Since then, Thomas Enraght-Moony has taken the role as CEO.
Records and facts
Actress Kara Brock
and technology author
Joseph Bustos met on Match.com in 2001. In 2004, the couple married at Bacara Resort
in Santa Barbara
In November 2004, Guinness World Records recognized Match.com as the largest online dating site in the world. At the time more than 42 million singles globally had registered with Match.com since its launch in 1995, and worldwide there were over 15 million members using the service.
In late 2005, Match.com entered into a strategic partnership with Dr. Phil on a new marketing campaign called "MindFindBind".
On November 10, 2005, a class action lawsuit was filed by Matthew Evans against Match.com in federal court in Los Angeles alleging that Match.com "secretly employs people as 'date bait' to send bogus enticing E-mails and to go on as many as 100 dates a month - or three a day - to keep customers ponying up." The suit has been repudiated by IAC as baseless. The suit was dismissed by the United States District Court for the Central District of California on April 25, 2007.
In December 2006, the layout of Match.com was redesigned, to go in line with the newly launched series of black and white TV advertisements featuring Match.com members.
MatchLive and MatchTravel
In 2002 and early 2003, Match.com's then CEO, Tim Sullivan, tried to expand Match.com reach by expanding into the local dating scene with a service called MatchLive. Daters would meet in a public location sponsored by Match.com. People would be involved in social activities and a form of speed dating
together. The idea was scrapped by the parent company. Shortly afterword, IAC fired Tim Sullivan as acting CEO, and laid off 30 people in the Dallas office involved with the MatchLive brand. The company stated that it planned to refocus its operation moving forward on on-line dating instead of hosting singles and speed-dating events.
MatchTravel was an attempt about the same time as the MatchLive brand to offer discounts via the then sister company Expedia, Inc. to daters meeting on Match.com. The service was rescinded shortly afterward.
Match.com is the leading brand in the division of the IAC/InterActiveCorp
known as IAC Personals. Other brands in the IAC Personals sphere include:
- Match.com International
- One and Only (brand retired in Dec. 2005)
- AltMatch (brand retired in Dec. 2005)
- MatchLive - localized singles meeting event coordination division of Match.com (brand retired in May 2003)
- MatchTravel - a collaboration between then IAC child company Expedia (brand retired May 2003)