Spark Networks SE is a leading global dating company with a portfolio of premium brands designed for singles seeking serious long-term relationships. Just like the couples who find love on our platforms, our success story is a tale of two compatible partners – Spark Networks Inc. and Affinitas GmbH – who merged in 2017.
Spark Networks Inc. began with Jdate, a niche dating site for the Jewish community, launched out of a West Los Angeles condominium in 1997. Word spread fast, and it quickly became the go-to destination for Jewish singles looking for love worldwide. Successful religious dating ventures followed, including Christian Mingle, the platform synonymous with Christian dating in the US, as well as LDS Singles and Adventist Singles. An acquisition saw the popular millennial Jewish dating app, JSwipe, added to the portfolio in 2015.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean, venture capitalists were investing in Berlin start-up Affinitas GmbH. Their first brand, eDarling, launched in 2009 in Germany, and expanded internationally the following year. Eyeing rapid growth, eHarmony invested in the company in 2010, only to sell their stake back to existing shareholders in 2013. But Affinitas GmbH wasn’t disheartened; it saw opportunity.
The buy-back allowed the company to enter the lucrative English-speaking markets, which was previously barred by its relationship with eHarmony. EliteSingles, a platform for educated singles and professionals, launched in the UK, Canada and Australia in 2013 and in the US in late 2015. The brand enjoyed unprecedented success and became Affinitas’ flagship brand. The acquisition of French brand Attractive World followed in 2016.
In May 2017, Affinitas GmbH and Spark Networks Inc. announced an all-stock merger that lead to the creation of Spark Networks SE - a new parent company - with the deal closing in November 2017. Like any good relationship, the merger brought together strengths from both sides. As a result, Spark Networks SE now stands as a publicly-listed company on the New York Stock Exchange American (ticker symbol: ‘LOV’), with a strong portfolio of niche brands in key geographies, and with offices in the US and a dynamic headquarters in the heart of Berlin.
That’s not the end of the love story. Since the merger closed, Spark Networks SE re-launched SilverSingles, a premium dating platform for 50+ dating. The brand saw strong commercial success, further strengthening the portfolio and bringing us one step closer to our mission of becoming the world’s leading premium online dating company.