In a quite remarkable move, IAC look set to acquire HowAboutWe.
The news of a deal was leaked after Business Insider obtained an email sent to employees by HowAboutWe co-founder Brian Schechter.
This follows a seemingly messy past week at the company, with employees from both the dating and editorial side being told they may lose their jobs because of IAC budgetary requirements.
In the email to staff, Schechter wrote:
“I got an email from someone in the media industry asking about “What’s happening with layoffs at HowAboutWe?” They specifically asked about the edit team.
“If you get this question, it should be denied. It’s inaccurate. We have not laid anyone off.
“Indeed, we are still finalizing a deal and zero final decisions have been made. That a deal is even a possibility should remain completely confidential, as well.
“The company being in control of the message is the best thing for everyone to be well set up for next steps, and that means keeping things truly in confidence and not telling anyone about this exciting next step may at HowAboutWe, etc. [sic]”
Business Insider have spoken to a staffer, who further recounts specifics of the meetings between staff and executives at the company.
Although the deal has not been finalised, it is expected to be completed today, with the ballpark figure still unknown.
A source told Business Insider that staff from the sales team in LA, Chicago and San Francisco were let go in June.
HowAboutWe launched their media network earlier in the year, acquiring Nerve.com, whose editor in chief Brian Moylan said on Facebook he left the company this month.
It’s a huge move by IAC, who will now own another slice of the competition against Match, OkCupid and Tinder.
It is also surprising considering HowAboutWe’s status as an outsider, and challenger, to this monopoly – a startup who grew using innovative ideas to compete against the biggest companies.
OkCupid, a company with a similar feel, was also bought by IAC in February 2011, for $50m.
It will be very interesting to see what the figure for HowAboutWe is, and we will update you as soon as the deal is officially announced.