Home / Technology / Match Shares Gain on Their Debut

Match Shares Gain on Their Debut

The Match Group enjoyed a respectable pop in its debut as a publicly traded company on Thursday, despite both a difficult market for initial public offerings and an ill-timed interview by the head of its Tinder dating app.

Shares of the company, which also owns the dating site Match.com and OkCupid, opened at $ 13.50, up 12.5 percent from the initial offering price. That valued the company at about $ 3.2 billion.

Match’s pop may not have been as heady as that of Square, the payments processor co-founded by Jack Dorsey of Twitter fame. But Match at least priced its I.P.O. within its expected range, albeit at the bottom, while Square’s was priced $ 2 below the bottom of its range.

Though many investors have begun to question whether technology companies looking to go public deserve the valuations they have commanded from private investors, Match is different in several notable ways. Perhaps most important, it is profitable, having earned $ 84.7 million during the first nine months of the year.

Yet it faced some pressure from investors as it sought to price its offering on Wednesday night, according to Gregory R. Blatt, the company’s chairman. He declined to blame any one factor, allowing that the pricing may have been affected by Square’s troubles, by general investor wariness about I.P.O.s or some other factor.

“I will say that it’s certainly our belief that there were factors that made us pay a heavier I.P.O. discount,” he said in a telephone interview. “Investors exacted a higher liquidity price than usual.”

One matter that did not affect the pricing, he argued, was an interview by The Evening Standard of London with Sean Rad, the chief executive of Tinder, published on Wednesday. In it, Mr. Rad, the app’s young co-founder, boasted of being pursued by a “supermodel” interested in sex.

In a now-infamous exchange, Mr. Rad, struggling for the proper term for “someone who gets turned on by intellectual stuff,” ventured a guess: “I want to say sodomy?” (He most likely meant “sapiosexual.”)

Continue reading the main story

Match subsequently filed a notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosing that it did not approve of or condone the article and noting that Mr. Rad is not a director or executive of Match itself.

Mr. Blatt described the interview as “unfortunate,” with unspecified things taken out of context and “frankly inaccurate.” But, he added, he did not believe it had any impact on the company’s stock sale.

Having made it onto the public markets, Match is unlikely to change its strategy of building out its various dating apps. The company’s key to success, according to Mr. Blatt, is its ability to attract and retain users.

“It’s not too hard to build a dating product,” he said. “If you can code, you can build one. But you need lots and lots of users to succeed.”

Yet going public does give the company a stock that it can use for further acquisitions, though Mr. Blatt said that nothing was planned for the near term.


NYT > Technology

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *