Match Group is solidifying its expansion beyond online dating through its acquisition of South Korean social media company Hyperconnect, CFO Gary Swidler told CNBC on Wednesday.
The parent company of Tinder and OkCupid announced the $1.73 billion stock-and-cash deal for Hyperconnect a day earlier. Hyperconnect is based in Seoul and has two main apps, Azar and Hakuna Live.
In an interview on “Closing Bell,” Swidler said both of Hyperconnect’s offerings fall into the category of “social discovery,” which is a way to meet friends and people who have shared interests.
Match Group believes social discovery represents 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 it’s been helped by the coronavirus pandemic leading people to foster more connections virtually.
Azar is a video and chat app that offers instant translation for voice and text messages. Hyperconnect was founded in 2014 and released Azar that same year. The app has tallied more than 540 million total downloads, according to the company.
Launched in 2019, Hakuna Live is a livestreaming platform that lets users create group audio and video broadcasts. It’s registered more than 23 million downloads, with growing popularity in Japan and South Korea, according to the company.
Hyperconnect said it’s profitable and brought in over $200 million in revenue in 2020. That’s up 50% compared with the prior year. Match Group saw revenues rise 17% last year to $2.4 billion.
Match Group has ventured beyond its primary focus on romantic relationships with apps such as Ablo, according to Swidler, who joined the Dallas-based company in 2015. However, he said the Hyperconnect acquisition “will take us much more firmly into social discovery.” The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.
Shares of Match Group rose 7.7% on Wednesday to $171.07, notching an all-time intraday high. The stock is up 126% in the past 12 months.