Cupid Unloads Casual Dating Sites Over Adult Content

LOS ANGELES—Online dating company Cupid has sold several websites that cater to casual dating rather than mainstream dating, the difference apparently being a proclivity by members of the former to demand “adult content.” The sites were sold to Grendall Investment, which is managed by Cupid co-founder Max Polyakov, who retains 15 percent of Cupid. Polyakov co-founded Cupidin 2005 with current chief executive Bill Dobbie.

The sites brought a pretty penny, according to the Telegraph. Cupid unloaded, and WildBuddies, among others, in a deal worth a reported £45.1m.

In a statement released today, the company said that the casual sites “can lead into areas of adult content, which Cupid has tried to avoid.” Jettisoning them allows the company to focus its attention on its remaining “mainstream” properties, which include, and

Dobbie explained, “Cupid believes that in mainstream dating, customers are demanding increasingly higher quality and that this can be a rewarding area for the company to focus its efforts.

“By contrast," he added, "the company believes that the casual market consumer ultimately requires the potential for more adult oriented content and that moving towards this end of the spectrum of dating is not a route that the company wishes to pursue.”

The Telegrapdh note that last year Cupid’s “casual” dating sites “generated total sales of £51.1m and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation of £9.7m.

“In 2012,” it added, “Cupid saw the total number of active users on its sites rise 18 percent year-on-year to 19.2m. Its major markets are the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ireland, which contribute over half its profit.”