DatingDirect sold for £27m to pan-European rival Meetic

LONDON -, which grew to be one of the UK's lasting successes of the dotcom boom, is to be sold to Meetic, the pan-European dating website, in a deal worth £27.3m.

The company, which was set up by internet entrepreneurs Darren Richards and Andrew Pike in 1999, has undergone substantial growth over the last eight years, increasing its membership from an initial 40,000 to more than 4.5m.

Richards, chief executive officer of, said: "Our commitment to developing a real opportunity for people to find real relationships has made the most popular dating destination in the UK, and now hopefully this will continue into Europe."

Meetic, one of Europe's most popular dating websites according to Nielsen//NetRatings, has operations in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Marc Simoncini, founder and chairman of Meetic, described the acquisition as a chance to allow the company to enter the lucrative UK dating market without the expense of a cross-media ad campaign.

"Thanks to this acquisition we will have conquered in less than five years the leading position on most of the international markets on which we operate."

DatingDirect has extended its service through a number of third-party deals with major media companies. Most recently, it signed a deal with Trinity Mirror to provide dating services through the online editions of the Daily Mirror, The People and the Daily Record.

Previous deals has signed include ones with, AOL, and Channel 4. It is ranked as the number one personals site in the UK by Nielsen//NetRatings.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum.


Save time, inform your growth strategy and interrogate raw data yourself with Campaign AI, our bespoke data intelligence service.

Schedule a demo

Enjoying Campaign’s content?

 Get unlimited access to Campaign’s premium content for your whole company with a corporate licence.

Upgrade access

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content