An Easydate with destiny as firm lists

THE group behind online dating sites including and yesterday became the UK's first listed internet match-making company.

Edinburgh-based Easydate made its debut on London's junior stock market, raising around 8.8 million after fees to expand and further tap into the fast-growing online dating industry, estimated to be worth around 665 million worldwide.

The group's shares opened at 60p, giving Easydate a market capitalisation of about 45m, before the stock later closed at 65.5p.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Easydate was set up Bill Dobbie and his Ukrainian business partner Max Polyakov in 2005 and has already built up a base of more than nine million members in the UK and internationally.

It runs a network of dating sites, also including and, and last year expanded outside the UK as part of a plan to target emerging markets.

Easydate made pre-tax profits of just over 2m in 2009 on turnover of 9.6m and is said to be expecting sales to hit 19m next year. The group is adding 200,000 new members each month and said its model is highly-scalable and low cost. It employs some 140 staff, although the vast majority are based in an in-house technical and online marketing team based in Ukraine.

Founder and chief executive Dobbie, who co-founded the listed Scottish technology firm Iomart, said he hopes the cash raised through the placing will grow Easydate into a "substantial global internet dating business".

"The response we have had from the market during the placing has been tremendous."

He added: "After a lot of hard work, we are now looking forward to life as an AIM-quoted company and the opportunities that will bring," he added.

The group said the online dating market is growing by about 6 per cent to 10 per cent in the UK, thanks to better internet connections.

Easydate, whose plans to float were first revealed in Scotland on Sunday in February, is the first such group to list in the UK, although there are listed dating services in the US and France, with's parent group InterActive Corporation listed on Wall Street.

Related topics: