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MatchActivity, Online Dating Site Launches

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Match Activity, a new online dating site is ready for your profile.

The 14-month-old Los Angeles online dating start-up is betting that it can carve itself a niche in the online dating market by incorporating some of the newer technologies and focusing on activity based match making. It uses tags, ajax and other such features to offer a better user experience compared to the old school dating sites.

Match Activity is the latest amongst many start-ups taking a bite at the online dating pie. Consumating.com was the first to lead the charge, and was acquired by C/Net. The Knot bought GreatBoyFriends for $600,000 a little while ago. In Canada, there is the most fabulous Verbdate.

Online dating is estimated to be a $1 billion a year business, and growing. Online dating sites have shed some of their stigma, and now are often featured in movies, even ones as terrible as Must Love Dog. According to Pew Internet, some 11% of Internet users have used online dating websites. As broadband spreads, we are only going to see an increase in usage of online applications such as online dating.

Match Activity is going up against some established players including industry leaders, Match.com and Yahoo. Craigslist is another fast growing (and free) online dating site. Of course there is MySpace, not exactly a dating site, but….

That doesn’t deter Yoni Avital, the founder of the company, who believes that actions speak activities speak louder than words. And since most activities are mostly time sensitive, people are more like to be proactive and not mull too long over emails. Sort of adding an auction-like urgency to the whole dating process? The man speaks from experience, it seems. “My best dates happened when we weren’t interviewing one another, but just having fun,” Avital says.

The site is free to use if you post activities publicly or respond to posted activities. However if you want to invite a specific person (or people who approved you already) you will need pay (“$7.99 a month. The company has a two-person staff working out of a LA garage. The development team is based in Israel. Match Activity, angel funded so far is looking for more capital, Avital says. They are currently in talks with some Silicon Valley angels.

Openings for Start-ups?

Over past decade online dating, travel and auctions have been steady money earners for Internet companies. In recent months, however the giants of these categories have hit a glass ceiling. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone because many of them have sat on their haunches. This is an opportunity for start-ups who can nibble away at niches. We noted that might be the case in the online travel industry. Perhaps, it is a perfect time for someone to step up and build a rival to eBay. (In South Korea, Gmarket has done exactly that. Rob Hof of Business Week has a story on that in the current issue, but no link available as yet.)

The flip side is, that these start-ups will have to figure out a low-cost way of building traffic, and figure out how to build a profitable franchise. Exits-via-acqusitions by big boys are an option, but its like betting on Portugal to win the World Cup.

17 Responses to “MatchActivity, Online Dating Site Launches”

  1. Hi friends, I have been seeking to meet for singles through near to Brisbane area and I have met a lot of interesting people from this place and I also have experience with new friends and I like it so much. It’s very entertaining and fun. Thanks. Cheers.

  2. This is a very interesting post. I am the Founder & CEO of Meeteor, a newly-launched online dating site focused on alumni of select academic institutions. I think there is a large opportunity to rethink a lot of the earlier concepts and attempts to make online dating work — meeting people online is becoming much more socially acceptable and that’s helping to drive some new innovation in the space.

  3. Dave Bren

    Well, that’s a cool idea. I really loved the looks of this site and it’s interface. As a single – this is definitley a better way to meet people. I guess that the site will grow much and have tones of activities in some closer range.

    Checked matchtag also, and I must tell you that it seems to be pretty lame when comparing to matchactivity

  4. As a woman I can say MatchActivity is fantastic, because the main problem is how stressful or boring dates can get, and it’s a great way to actually explore and enjoy than feeling you’re in a meat market. Clearly Ja from commet # 7 has a negative view of women, since we “take advantage” of men – what planet do you live on? Most women will be interested in someone who is not looking to save time or money, but someone who actually takes the time to think creatively and attentively about how to spend time wiht them. MatchActivity is simply on a different level.

  5. Despite the slightly misleading name, OkCupid can be a good way to meet activity partners. Plus it’s one of the more intelligent matching systems out there and it’s free (well, last time I checked). Anyhow, a friend invited me since they have all these addictive quizzes to take which are seperate from the real matching stuff. I ended up getting back in touch with a girl I had lost touch with two years earlier and meeting a cool guy in the area that had posted something to the affect of is anyone in the area interested in doing x? I knew both I and a friend of mine would be interested so I responded and we emailed for a bit and then just started hanging out and doing stuff we liked to do but had no friends in the area that liked to.

    This is all extremely vague but the point is this sort of thing isn’t exactly new, I’ve met female activy friends that turned into more and some that haven’t. And I hardly use OKC let alone anything else besides a social networking site or two.

    The problem is the assumption that “hey, let’s go do this” takes away from how derived it all is. In fact, I believe it makes it more blantant. What will happen is guys will start repeatedly buying expensive tickets or doing trendy things and stuff specifically to have a good chance of luring girls in. Some of the girls in turn will just take advantage of the situation and probably get treated to nice free activities while having no intention anywhere near what the guy’s intensions likely are. Marketing it specifically as a matchmaking service rather than an activity matching service makes it that much more worse.

    For their sake, I hate to say, but I hope they don’t get that VC money. They’d be better moving on.

    Ja

  6. Jesse Kopelman

    Like for all of these services, the key is building a big enough user base and for dating this base needs to be huge. I did the search on Match Activity and it found no posts within 50 miles of my zip code, despite the population in that area being 3 or 4 million people.