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U.S. Online Dating Site eharmony Bought By Germany's Prosieben

U.S. Online Dating Site eharmony Bought By Germany's Prosieben
U.S. online dating site eharmony has been bought by Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Media, said the German firm on Monday. This is the first move of any significance by the firm ever since the company formed a joint venture on e-commerce with General Atlantic.
ProSieben’s Parship dating franchise which is the market leader in Germany is effectively complemented by the acquisition of eharmony. The US firms was set up in 2000 in Los Angeles by clinical psychologist Neil Clark Warren and it now anticipates to get more than 2.8 million registered as users within this year.
“We are bringing together two strong brands and will build them into one of the world’s leading online dating businesses,” ProSieben CEO Max Conze said in a statement.
The details of the deal of the acquisition were not disclosed by the German company. The US dating platform makes use of a detailed online questionnaire from new users in order to determine the compatibility of potential couples who want to get into long-term relationships.
Claas van Delden, co-CEO of Nucom said that an algorithm that was developed separately in Germany but has been formulated on the same basis is used by Parship and sister brand ElitePartner. Both these two platforms together have 2 million registrations a year.
“They are based on the same conviction,” van Delden said. “In addition the takeover is so attractive because eharmony has a brand awareness of nearly 90 percent and a very big user base that we can serve better from a common platform.”
This deal is a part of the strategy of ProSieben to venture into other revenue generating businesses and away from its core commercial TV franchise which has recently reported flat revenues and one that is being disrupted by streaming platforms such as Netflix.
The newly created Nucom division of the Munich-based broadcaster was used to purchase eharmony. The Nucom division has a 24.9 per cent investment by General Atlantic and the investment was made in February this year. 94 percent of Parship is in turn owned by Nucom.
The presence of eharmony in Canada and Australia would benefit the German firm because it would help it to acquire customers there apart from the existing users of eharmony in the United States as well as to the huge online dating market in North America. Citing independent research, ProSieben said that the U.S. market is worth $3 billion and is most richly valued on a per-user basis.
$113 million in two funding rounds has been raised by privately held eharmony with the latest round of investment held in 2004. Investors such as Tuputele Ventures, TCV, Sequoia Capital and Fayez Sarofim & Co, according to Crunchbase had invested in the US dating platform in 2004.
Eharmony CEO Grant Langston will continue to run the business while representatives of Parship will join its board

Christopher J. Mitchell

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