Match has big plans for Asia in 2019
Match Group, the undisputed king of the online dating world and owner of Tinder, Match.com, Hinge, and more, is making a power play in Asia. CEO Mandy Ginsberg regards Asia as the next big opportunity for online dating, and has committed to a 40% increase in head count and an overhaul of its top team on the continent. Those changes along with additional marketing, will see Match pump “tens of millions of dollars” a year in the region.
Match Group’s share price has increased by 44% so far this year
Source: Yahoo Finance
As the graph above shows, Match has been on a roll this year. It reported better than expected financial results (again) in February. Asia is a key part in the company’s plan to keep this momentum going. According to Ginsberg, there are about 400 million singles outside North America and Europe – and two-thirds of them have never used a dating app.
That said, Asia is ripe for Match to conquer. The region has seen a flurry of activity in recent years, spawning homegrown Tinder equivalents. This trend is being driven by the incredible speed of technological and cultural change. Rapid mobile phone adoption along with the collapse of traditional norms (perhaps most obviously, the move away from arranged marriages in India) means lots of connected young people are having to find new ways to look for love.
Ginsberg describes the cultural change: “initially there was a personal embarrassment around it… but it’s the stigma – the stigma’s really eroding.” She added that the company will soon be opening an office in Singapore (it already has offices in South Korea, Japan, and Indonesia) and plans to expand significantly in India. However, one of Asia’s brightest jewels, China, remains out of reach, as Tinder is banned.
There might be a solution to the China problem: “incubating or buying” a homegrown Chinese dating app. However, that would only be possible if she could guarantee that Match wouldn’t be obliged to hand over users’ private data to government officials. She said: “privacy trumps financial opportunity and we would have to do the right thing for users.”
Dominion holds Match Group in its Global Trends Managed Fund.
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