Match Group, the company that owns Tinder, has bought a majority stake in its major competitors app- Hinge. Tinder, a millennial based dating app has become wildly popular in recent years as a match-maker for young adults. Hinge, on the other hand, is geared more towards people looking for long-term, meaningful relationships. Match Group also owns similar applications such as Match.com, OkCupid, Meetic, and OurTime.com, making it a big name in millennial dating apps. Now that it has acquired a 51% stake in Hinge, they have acquired all but one popular match-making app- Bumble. This acquisition was strategic and makes Match Group the most powerful player in the dating app industry.
Hinge is marketed as a more welcoming and educated version of Tinder (viewed more as a casual dating app). In this case, Match Group’s strategic acquisition of Hinge puts them in direct competition with Bumble. Both Hinge and Bumble have a high number of female users, and are directed at a more empowered and educated market. While Bumble is Match Group’s only current competitor, talks of Facebook’s expansion into the dating app world loom. This threatens both Hinge and Tinder, as Facebook has over 2.2 Billion users.
This story is highlights the importance of knowing when to BUY or SELL your business. With rumors of Facebooks emergence into the dating app world, Match Group took the opportunity to acquire one of its last remaining competitors. As someone with years of experience in the M&A industry, I think that Match Group made the right choice in investing in Hinge. However, they better take a hint from Zuckerberg and keep an eye on Facebook!