Spark Networks SE is a leading global dating company with a widening portfolio of premium & freemium apps. Listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol ‘LOV’, the company was formed in 2017 following the merger between Berlin-based Affinitas GmbH and US-based Spark Networks Inc. From small start-up to the world’s 3rd largest publicly listed online dating company with an average of 875,000 monthly paying subscribers in 2021, Spark’s success story is nothing short of remarkable.
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 app 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 app, 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, an app for educated singles and professionals, launched in the UK, Canada and Australia in 2013 and in the US in late 2015. EliteSingles enjoyed unprecedented success and became Affinitas’ flagship app. The acquisition of Attractive World followed in 2016, propelling the company’s position in France.
In November 2017, Affinitas GmbH and Spark Networks Inc. closed an all-stock merger that led to the creation of a new parent company, Spark Networks SE, heralding a bold new chapter and an increased presence in the US – the company’s key market. The following year Spark re-launched SilverSingles, a premium dating app for 50+ dating, which continues to see strong commercial success. Spark further consolidated its portfolio in July 2019 when it acquired Zoosk, marking a twofold increase in scale and making Spark Networks SE one of the largest online dating companies in North America.