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OkCupid founder: Tinder has 'endless potential' in the world

Daniel Roberts
Senior Writer

Tinder is on a hot streak that doesn’t show signs of cooling off.

In August, on its second-quarter 2018 earnings call, Tinder parent company Match Group said Tinder is on pace to top $800 million in revenue this year—double Tinder’s revenue in 2017.

Tinder launched in 2012. So what is it about the app that has kept its growth going so strong?

Sam Yagan, former CEO of Match, says Tinder’s strength is its addictive UX design: the swiping motion to approve or reject potential dates.

“Tinder is so simple in its user experience that it’s really the first major dating platform that’s been able to span geographies and cultures,” Yagan says. “One of the challenges we always had at OkCupid, and we even had at the core Match business, was getting adoption outside of North America and certain European countries. But Tinder has just blasted through all of those boundaries because the proposition of ‘swipe left, swipe right’ is so simple. And because of that, I really think there’s really endless potential.” Tinder is available in more than 190 countries, according to its site.

Yagan knows a thing or two about online dating. After he sold OkCupid to IAC in 2011, he stayed on as CEO of Match, including steering Match to its spinout and IPO in 2015. He’s now CEO of online retail business Shoprunner, and still a Match Group boardmember. He visited Yahoo Finance this week to announce Shoprunner’s new $40 million fundraising round.

Greg Blatt (center), chairman of Match Group, and Sam Yagan (third from the right), then CEO of Match Group, celebrate Match Group’s IPO at the NASDAQ in New York on Nov. 20, 2015. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Match Group is the acquisitive giant of the online dating business—its portfolio includes more than a dozen dating brands, including Match.com, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, and Hinge.

Yagan is bullish on the entire industry. “There are billions of single people in the world connected to the internet,” he says, “and eventually they’re all going to take part in online dating of some kind.”

Daniel Roberts is a senior writer at Yahoo Finance and closely covers the online dating business. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.

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