Spark Networks

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logo for the dating group Spark Networks SE
Spark Networks SE logo

Spark Networks SE is a global dating company with a portfolio of brands designed for singles seeking serious relationships. These online dating brands include EliteSingles, Jdate, Christian Mingle, eDarling, JSwipe and Attractive World. Formed in 2017 through the merger of Affinitas GmbH and Spark Networks, Inc., the company has a presence in 29 countries worldwide and is publicly listed on the NYSE American LLC exchange under the ticker symbol “LOV.”

Websites[edit]

Christian Mingle[edit]

Initially launched in 2001, ChristianMingle.com is an online community of Christian singles. The site serves singles who are looking to date and marry within the Christian faith. Christian Mingle has over 9 million registered members.[1] Users can access the site in English, German, Spanish, or French.[2]

The plot of the film Christian Mingle features the website.

Jdate[edit]

Launched in 1997, Jdate.com is a niche dating site that caters to Jewish singles. It has more than 750,000 members worldwide.[3] Users can access the site in English, German, Spanish, French, or Hebrew.[4] A survey commissioned by Jdate in 2011 showed 52 percent of married respondents met on Jdate.[5]

EliteSingles[edit]

Designed for educated professionals seeking committed, long-term relationships, EliteSingles was launched in 2013 and operates in over 25 countries.

SilverSingles[edit]

SilverSingles is a dating site aimed at those interested in over-50 dating and long-term relationships. SilverSingles started life as PrimeSingles.net in 2002, changing to Single Seniors Meet in 2009 and, finally, to SilverSingles in 2011, when it became part of Spark Networks, Inc.

eDarling[edit]

Launched in 2009, eDarling is a European online partner agency aimed at singles looking for long-term relationships.

JSwipe[edit]

JSwipe is a Jewish online dating app launched on Passover 2014 by Smooch Labs, and acquired by Spark Networks in October 2015 for $7 million, ending contentious patent and trademark litigation between the two companies.[6][7]

Attractive World[edit]

Attractive World is a dating site that allows existing members to decide whether or not new applicants are suitable to join the community based on their submitted profiles.

Zoosk[edit]

Main articke: zoosk

Zoosk is an online dating service available in 25 languages and in more than 80 countries. The founders of the company are Shayan Zadeh and Alex Mehr, who ran the company until December 2014. After struggles that year, Kelly Steckelberg became the company's new CEO[8][9]. Zoosk was recently acquired for a reported $255 million by Spark Networks[10].

Other websites[edit]

In addition, a number of properties are included in Spark Networks’ portfolio, including LDS Singles and Adventist Singles.[11]

History[edit]

The company was founded by Joe Y. Shapira in 1997 under the name MatchNet plc.[12]

Jdate.com, founded in 1997, was the company's first venture into online dating. The company was also home to Christian Mingle, which was launched in 2001.[13]

In January 2005, the company changed its name to Spark Networks because management felt that the new name more sharply distinguished the company in the marketplace.[14]

On November 10, 2014, Jdate launched a dating app designed for Jewish singles.[15]

On October 14, 2015, Spark Networks announced the acquisition of Smooch Labs, owner of the popular millennial Jewish dating app JSwipe.[16] Spark Networks launched CROSSPATHS, a dating app that helps like-minded Christians find matches, on October 8, 2015.[17]

Redesigns of the Jdate and Christian Mingle websites were announced in 2015. In addition to revamped branding, the site makeovers featured technology changes (including expanded mobile capabilities), a re-designed inbox and a new “daily matches” feature. Jdate’s redesign went live on November 18, 2015, while Christian Mingle’s went live on December 17, 2015.[18][19]

On November 2, 2017, Spark Networks SE (NYSE American: LOV) announced the completion of the previously announced merger of Spark Networks, Inc. and Affinitas GmbH in a stock-for-stock transaction. The combination created a worldwide online dating platform, with brands including EliteSingles, eDarling, Jdate, Christian Mingle, JSwipe, and Attractive World serving a spectrum of users across 29 countries and 15 languages.[20]

On October 3, 2018, Spark was fined $500,000 and ordered to pay $985,000 in restitution in response to complaints that the site was automatically renewing customer accounts without their express consent. The company was sued by the Santa Monica city attorney as well as district attorneys in four counties.[21]

Operations[edit]

Previously based in Beverly Hills, California, Spark Networks is now based in Berlin, Germany.[22]

In 2013, the company authorized the repurchase of $5 million of its outstanding common stock as a reflection of confidence in the long-term business.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ChristianMingle.com – The Leading Christian Singles Network!". Spark Networks. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  2. ^ "GLOBAL DATING COMPANY, SPARK NETWORKS, EXPANDS PRIMARY U.S. BRANDS GLOBALLY | Spark Networks, Inc. – IR Site". Spark Networks, Inc. – IR Site. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  3. ^ "Jdate.com – The Leading Jewish Singles Network! Explore the Possibilities". Spark Networks. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  4. ^ "GLOBAL DATING COMPANY, SPARK NETWORKS, EXPANDS PRIMARY U.S. BRANDS GLOBALLY | Spark Networks, Inc. – IR Site". Spark Networks, Inc. – IR Site. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  5. ^ "JDate is Responsible for Almost 1000 Marriages [infographic]". Cyber Dating Expert. 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  6. ^ Arom, Eitan (February 11, 2016). "Rounding out a big year, JDate CEO has reason to celebrate". Los Angeles Jewish Journal. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  7. ^ Dale, Brady (October 15, 2015). "JDate Bought JSwipe and Everyone Loves Each Other Now". New York Observer. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  8. ^ "About Zoosk - Online Dating Site and Dating Apps". Zoosk. Retrieved 2019-03-23.
  9. ^ "Form S-1". www.sec.gov. Retrieved 2019-03-23.
  10. ^ "Spark Networks SE Enters Definitive Agreement to Acquire Zoosk, Inc., Creating the Second Largest Dating Company in North America". FOX5 Las Vegas. Retrieved 2019-03-23.
  11. ^ "Spark Networks – Home to Some of the World's Most Iconic Niche-Focused Brands". Spark Networks. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  12. ^ Dealbook. "Parent of Dating Sites Looks for a Match". DealBook. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  13. ^ Hill, Logan. "At ChristianMingle and JDate, God's Your Wingman". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  14. ^ "MatchNet plc Changes Its Name to Spark Networks plc". Online Personals Watch: News on the Dating Industry and Business. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  15. ^ "JDate Launches New App, Making It Easier Than Ever to "Get Chosen" - Spark Networks". Spark Networks. Archived from the original on 2016-03-07. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  16. ^ "Spark Networks Acquires Smooch Labs, Owner of the JSwipe Mobile Application - Spark Networks". Spark Networks. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  17. ^ "Faith and Love Meet on New Dating App for Single Christians - Spark Networks". Spark Networks. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  18. ^ "From Spark to Fireworks: Online Dating Brands JDate and ChristianMingle Get Makeovers - Spark Networks". Spark Networks. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  19. ^ "Meaningful Matches Are Ready to Be Made on the All-New ChristianMingle - Spark Networks". Spark Networks. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  20. ^ "Spark Networks and EliteSingles Complete Merger". Spark Networks. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Dating sites Jdate and Christian Mingle to pay restitution to customers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Spark Networks – Contact Us". Spark Networks. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  23. ^ "Spark Networks, Inc. Announces $5 Million Stock Repurchase Program". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 2016-03-02.

External links[edit]