Vancouver-based online dating platform PlentyofFish has passed a significant milestone signing up its 100 millionth user. The company has also doubled its revenue since 2013, putting its run rate for 2015 at $100 million, a target it expects to hit if revenues continue at current levels.
The company’s success presents a case study in the importance of engaging users on mobile devices, which the majority of millennials now use for daily computing purposes.
PlentyOfFish also decided some time ago to ditch its “freemium” model, a hybrid business model that many start-ups struggle with monetizing.
After earning revenue primarily through ads served on the website when the business started in 2003, the company has moved to an upgraded membership model, on the theory that users who pay to use the service are more engaged and end up spending more time with the platform.
PlentyOfFish claims that 80% of its user base engages with the platform via mobile.
The son of German farmers from Hudson’s Hope in B.C.’s far north, Markus Frind grew up without running water, phones or electricity, making him another of B.C.’s free range entrepreneurs: that group of unconventional business tycoons that includes Stewart Butterfield or Ryan Holmes, who also grew up in unusual semi-rural B.C. environments.
In a 2006 blog post, Frind outlined something of his philosophy. “I spent every waking minute when I wasn’t at my day job reading, studying, and learning. I picked out ‘enemies’ and did everything I could to defeat them, which meant being bigger than them. I refused to accept defeat of any kind. I didn’t know anything about SEO, Advertising, community and I didn’t even know what Venture Capital was. Just goes to show you anyone can do anything.”
Now employing 75 people, POF was founded in 2003, and claims to be the world’s largest dating site, connecting a couple every two minutes.