Tinder-owner Match faces fierce competition, shares down by 15 percent

To fend off competition, Match has boosted its marketing spend on Tinder in emerging markets.


Tinder-owner Match Group Inc forecast fourth-quarter revenue below Wall Street estimates on Tuesday as it faces stiff competition from rival online dating services, sending its shares down about 15 percent in extended trading.

The owner of OkCupid and PlentyOfFish expects current-quarter total revenue between $545 million (£423.47 million) and $555 million, below analysts' estimate of $559.3 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Match has been facing increasing competition from a host of rivals including Bumble and Facebook Inc's dating platform that recently launched in the US in September.

Tinder-owner Match faces fierce competition, shares down by 15 percent

Match has been facing increasing competition from a host of rivals including Bumble and Facebook Inc's dating platform. Image: Reuters

Bumble also stepped up by launching its app in India late last year, a market with a huge potential for dating-related services.

To fend off competition, Match has boosted its marketing spend on its money-spinner Tinder in emerging markets, including India and Latin America, as well on its other dating services, PlentyOfFish and Hinge.

Match's total operating expenses rose about 20 percent to $364.9 million in the quarter.

The forecast overshadowed a better-than-expected quarterly revenue and a 19 percent growth in average subscribers that rose to 9.6 million from a year ago, including a rise of about 29 percent subscribers in its international markets.

Tinder — which has made "swipe left" and "swipe right" a point of pop culture conversations — added 437,000 average subscribers in the quarter bringing its total average subscriber count to 5.7 million.

Last month, parent IAC/InterActiveCorp said it intends to spin off its ownership stake in Match Group resulting in the full separation of the two companies.

Match on Tuesday said it expects spin-off related expense to be about $10 million in fiscal 2020.

Total revenue rose 22 percent to $541.5 million in the third quarter, edging past analysts' estimates of about $540.6 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company's net earnings attributable to Match Group shareholders rose to $151.5 million, or 51 cents per share, for the three months ended 30 September, from $130.2 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier.