Spark Networks CEO Jeronimo Folgueira has been interviewed by Cheddar to discuss his company’s recent acquisition of Zoosk.
The publicly traded dating umbrella completed a full takeover of the brand at the start of July in a deal worth $255 million. Zoosk becomes the largest property in the Spark Networks portfolio and, according to Folgueira, it has helped to make the parent’s user base grow approximately three times over.
He explained that Zoosk was one of the only online dating services in North America that could help Spark Networks achieve its desired scale.
The company had previously looked to add niche-specific brands, rather than mainstream offerings which might compete with one another. Folgueira acknowledged that there may now be some user crossover at Spark due to the size of Zoosk.
The CEO told Cheddar: “Zoosk is mass market, it’s a brand that can be something for everyone and captures a lot more people. It’s a brand that performs extremely well, especially in the Mid-West and does well in other parts of the country where [Elite Singles], for example, does not.
“In that sense, Zoosk is a place where people can go, have fun, meet someone and then see what happens. There’s less pressure and less stuck in a box.”
The Spark Networks team doesn’t currently share data between its different brands but, with the recent acquisition, they are exploring that possibility and whether it can create a better experience for users.
Folgueira was also questioned on why so many of his products focus on religious dating, such as Christian Mingle and Jdate. He responded that, for many people, it is very important to have religion as a shared value in a partner, especially when it comes to raising children.
Last week, Spark Networks appointed Bert Althaus as its new CFO. He will officially assume the role in September.