At that time, the bubbly market was just beginning to explode, and it was friendlier to small new entrants.
Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel both launched in 2012; Hinge launched in 2013; Bumble, Happn, JSwipe, The Grade, and The League all launched in 2014.
In 2015, the march of new dating apps slowed to a crawl.
(It also owns Meetic, Twoo, Black People Meet, Pet People Meet, Little People Meet, and the list goes on; there are 50 sites in its vast portfolio.) IAC, through Match Group, has long been the acquisitive king of the online-dating business.
Sam Yagan, who co-founded Ok Cupid and sold it to IAC in 2011, described this to Fortune in no uncertain terms in 2013: If you want to create a new online-dating platform, he said, "You’re going to launch, you’re going to get some success, and I’m going to buy you for cheap because you don’t have another bidder."Indeed, in the last two years IAC, through Match Group, bought Plentyof Fish, How About We, Pairs and Couples (a Japanese site), and Friend Scout24 (Germany), among others, as well as non-dating content sites like and The Princeton Review.
A growing market, but a shrinking pool of players With the mega success of Tinder, and the Match IPO, the landscape has shifted.
Two of the industry's three biggest players are now public: Match Group and Spark Networks (LOV), which owns JDate, Christian Mingle, and others.
One of the oldest web sites in the space, e Harmony, which launched in 2000, remains private.
The most recent IBISWorld report pegs the online-dating market at .4 billion in size, up from .1 billion in 2013, though other experts say that figure is low.The industry has grown at more than 3% each year since 2008ultimately, Tinder is the gorilla in the casual end of the spectrum, which is our space. Maybe one or two of these other ones will survive, and be profitable, but the only reason they exist right now is they’re operating off venture capital. Most of them are gone almost as quickly as they show up."Ok Cupid's chief product officer Jimena Almendares agrees."I think the market is more difficult now for small apps, because you need liquidity," she tells Yahoo Finance.Online-dating sites and apps will get a post-Valentine's Day bump this week—and then a drop.On the Monday after Valentine's Day, sees a 15% increase in communication activity on its site.In the days leading up to Valentine's Day, Ok Cupid, which is also part of Match Group (MTCH), sees a 15% increase in new sign-ups.