Match Group goals to increase past courting with a $ 1.7 billion acquisition: CFO

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Match Group is consolidating its expansion beyond online dating with the acquisition of South Korean social media company Hyperconnect, CFO Gary Swidler told CNBC on Wednesday.

The parent company of Tinder and OkCupid announced the stock and cash deal for $ 1.73 billion for Hyperconnect the day before. Hyperconnect is based in Seoul and has two main apps, Azar and Hakuna Live.

In an interview on Closing Bell, Swidler said that both of Hyperconnect’s offerings fall under the category of “Social Discovery,” which is a way to meet friends and people who have common interests.

Match Group believes social discovery is a bigger market than online dating, Swidler said. “It’s a very global market and it’s growing even faster than the dating business,” he said, adding that the coronavirus pandemic has helped promote more connections virtually.

Azar is a video and chat app that provides instant translation for voice and text messages. Hyperconnect was founded in 2014 and released Azar in the same year. According to the company, the app has recorded a total of more than 540 million downloads.

Launched in 2019, Hakuna Live is a live streaming platform that allows users to create group audio and video broadcasts. According to the company, more than 23 million downloads have been registered, with popularity increasing in Japan and South Korea.

Hyperconnect said it was profitable and had sales of over $ 200 million in 2020. That is 50% more than in the previous year. Match Group saw sales jump 17% to $ 2.4 billion last year.

According to Swidler, who joined the Dallas-based company in 2015, Match Group has ventured beyond its primary focus on romantic relationships with apps like Ablo. However, he said the Hyperconnect acquisition “will take us much more deeply into social discovery.” The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

Match Group shares rose 7.7% to $ 171.07 on Wednesday, hitting an all-time high for the day. The stock is up 126% over the past 12 months.

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