Dating Site Zoosk Partners Up With Spark Networks

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It’s love at first profit for two big names in dating apps.

Spark Networks announced it has acquired Zoosk, Inc. for $255 million. Spark says the Zoosk acquisition will boost the combined company to over one million monthly paying customers and will further drive Spark’s expansion in relationship tech.

Zoosk will join Spark’s other roster of dating platforms, including Christian Mingle, Elite Singles, Jdate, eDarling, SilverSingles and Attractive World. Spark is a publicly traded company (NYSE-LOV), while Zoosk, a matured startup, launched 2007.  According to Crunchbase, Zoosk raised a total of more than $61 million in funding from such investors as Canaan Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, ATA Ventures and Crossroads Capital, in over six funding rounds.

“We are excited to help create such a broad and powerful portfolio of brands that will address specific user needs in the dating market globally, while leveraging the best of both companies to create a world-class platform to serve customers across these brands,” said Steven McArthur, Zoosk’s CEO, in a statement announcing the deal. McArthur will be joining the Board of Directors of Spark as part of the deal.

Under the deal, Spark will acquire all of Zoosk’s shares with both cash and stock at a valuation of $255 million, based on the closing price of Sparks’ stock on March 20, 2019. Spark will issue 12.98 million American Depository Shares (ADSs) valued at approximately $150 million based on the closing price of it’s SE stock of $11.53 on March 20, 2019. Additionally, Zoosk shareholders will receive net cash consideration of $95 million at closing and $10 million via a deferred cash payment in December 2020, which will be funded through a new $120 million senior secured debt facility.

The transaction is expected to close early in the third quarter of 2019.