Meet Group goes German with $70M+ Lovoo deal

Stride directors-20092017-0001
Geoff Cook is CEO and cofounder of Meet Group, the New Hope mobile-dating app aggregator.

Meet Group Inc., the New Hope-based company that has become profitable as it has expanded from its U.S. social-media also-ran roots to become a collection of multinational mobile dating apps, says it has agreed to buy Germany-based dating app Lovoo for $70 million in cash, plus up to $5 million if Lovoo meets sales goals.

Geoff Cook, the serial entrepreneur who cofounded Nasdaq-listed Meet’s predecessor, myYearbook, with his school-aged sister and brother in 2005, called Lovoo “the number one dating app in German-speaking countries (Germany, Switzerland, and Austria) in terms of app store downloads.” It also is popular in Italy, Spain, and France, he noted.

The deal price is more than double Lovoo’s $32 million yearly sales for the last 12 months. With 97 employees in Berlin and Dresden, Lovoo claims five million monthly active users and nearly two million daily.

Cofounder Benjamin Bak “has agreed to assist” for six months after the deal closes, and cofounder and chief operating officer Florian Braunschweig will take over as general manager and managing director, Meet said in a statement.

Cook said Lovoo, a five-year-old service that is half-funded by subscriptions, the rest by purchases and ads, will be Meet’s most-trafficked app. Meet’s other apps include MeetMe, Skout, Tagged, and Hi5. The company claims users in 100 countries.

Last year, Meet acquired IfWe Inc. for $60 million and Skout Inc. for $52 million. The company was reorganized in 2011 and combined with Quepasa, a Latin America-focused, publicly traded social-media company. The combined company was renamed MeetMe in 2012, distinguishing itself from personal users of Facebook and other popular social-media sites by claiming those focused on sharing with “people you already know,” while MeetMe helped users “make new friends.”

Meet employs about 124; sales topped $76 million last year. The company has reported rising yearly profits since 2014. The share price has lately sagged below $4 after reaching a recent high of $8 last year.

The Philadelphia law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advised Meet in its purchase of Lovoo.