Wall Street has its eye on Tinder, and it’s not because they’re looking for quick dates. It’s because the online dating industry has what it takes to be the newest hot sector in information tech. Recent estimates evaluate the online dating market at $12 billion by 2020.
It’s all due to the fact that more and more people are willing to give online dating a try, according to Nomura Instinet analyst, Mark Kelly. He said, “About half of Internet users are single. We estimate that 20% of them will take an interest in online dating services by 2020.”
If he’s right, it means the number of people trying online dating for the first time will rise by 15% over new converts in 2015. That comes down to about 300 million people using online dating sites for the first time in one year.
“We believe Match.com will be the clear leader in Internet dating for at least the next few years. As Tinder continues to grow, other brands will develop, and Hinge will reach scale. We expect Match to continue acquiring assets it views as a threat,” Kelley said. “We can see this in Match’s majority ownership of Hinge, which is a natural next step for Tinder users seeking long-term relationships.”
One of the biggest shifts in the online dating market is the dramatic increase in users outside the US. Nomura Instinet believes that by 2020, nearly half of online daters will be international.
At present, Tinder is the major driver for Match.com’s growth, which is expected to grow to $815 million early in 2019. This is a direct consequence of the new app “Gold” which was launched in the summer of 2018.
“Gold’s early growth lasted longer than we anticipated,” Kelly said. “The app is adding new mobile services that are driving its popularity. And its new monetization features are adding increasingly greater opportunities to capture more wallet share.”
Match.com grew by just over 5% last quarter, boosting Kelly’s confidence in his bullish price target. Shares of the online dating brand are up by 66% this year.