Warning: members of the public are being contacted by people claiming to work for AXA Investment Managers UK Limited.  Find out more information and what to do by clicking here.

How do dating apps make money?

  • 12 February 2020 (10 min read)

  • Romance is increasingly being disrupted by tech
  • Tinder, owned by IAC, now sees 2bn swipes a day
  • Online dating is big business in today’s digital economy

What long-term trend are we observing?

Online dating is now widely, and increasingly, accessible thanks to the adoption of smartphones, and those in the market for romance can now easily search for potential partners using a variety of criteria. Popular dating app Tinder now sees 2bn swipes a day, resulting in 1m dates a week1 , which is likely to pick up around key holidays like Valentine’s Day. In fact, one-third of all relationships now begin on a dating app2 .

Online dating is also big business – Tinder is now the 2nd highest-ranking app by worldwide consumer spend in the iOS App Store and Google Play, after Netflix3 .

How do dating apps make their money?

Most dating apps are free to download, but then users must pay to unlock extra features, such as Tinder’s $14.99 ‘Gold’ subscription which lets users see who has ‘liked’ them first. Apps also generate cash through in-app advertising, offering bars, restaurants and other businesses a captive audience of consumers looking for fun date activities.

IAC/InterActiveCorp, which owns a substantial stake in Match Group, owns and operates more than 45 subscription-based online dating services, including three of the four highest-earning dating apps4 ; Tinder, match.com and PlentyOfFish.

By owning multiple brands catering to different needs, Match Group provides a breadth and purity of exposure to the modern dating economy. Indeed in Q3 2018, Match Group’s total revenue grew 29% year-on-year to $444m, driven by a 23% rise in paid subscribers5 .


These data points underscore the long-term theme we see of people using connected devices to find quick and easy solutions to age-old problems. This requires businesses to increasingly use data to understand their customers and customise their digital offering. The trend also vindicates our approach of investing in companies operating across the digital economy.

Please note that all stocks and companies mentioned are for illustrative purposes only and should not be considered an investment recommendation.


All investment involves risks, including the loss of capital.

  • d3d3LmdvdGluZGVyLmNvbS9wcmVzcw==
  • d3d3LmlhYy5jb20vYnJhbmQvbWF0Y2gtZ3JvdXA=
  • QXBwIGRldmVsb3BlciBtYWdhemluZSwg4oCYVGhpcyBpcyBob3cgbXVjaCBkYXRpbmcgYXBwcyBtYWtlIGV2ZXJ5IG1pbnV0ZeKAmSwgNi4xMi4xNw==
  • QXBwIGRldmVsb3BlciBtYWdhemluZSwg4oCYVGhpcyBpcyBob3cgbXVjaCBkYXRpbmcgYXBwcyBtYWtlIGV2ZXJ5IG1pbnV0ZeKAmSwgNi4xMi4xNw==
  • TWF0Y2ggZ3JvdXAsIEludmVzdG9yIHByZXNlbnRhdGlvbiwgNi4xMS4xOA==

Have our latest insights delivered straight to your inbox

Subscribe to updates.

    Not for Retail distribution:

    This document is intended exclusively for Professional, Institutional, Qualified or Wholesale Clients / Investors only, as defined by applicable local laws and regulation. Circulation must be restricted accordingly.

    This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment research or financial analysis relating to transactions in financial instruments as per MIF Directive (2014/65/EU), nor does it constitute on the part of AXA Investment Managers or its affiliated companies an offer to buy or sell any investments, products or services, and should not be considered as solicitation or investment, legal or tax advice, a recommendation for an investment strategy or a personalized recommendation to buy or sell securities.

    It has been established on the basis of data, projections, forecasts, anticipations and hypothesis which are subjective. Its analysis and conclusions are the expression of an opinion, based on available data at a specific date.

    All information in this document is established on data made public by official providers of economic and market statistics. AXA Investment Managers disclaims any and all liability relating to a decision based on or for reliance on this document. All exhibits included in this document, unless stated otherwise, are as of the publication date of this document. Furthermore, due to the subjective nature of these opinions and analysis, these data, projections, forecasts, anticipations, hypothesis, etc. are not necessary used or followed by AXA IM’s portfolio management teams or its affiliates, who may act based on their own opinions. Any reproduction of this information, in whole or in part is, unless otherwise authorised by AXA IM, prohibited.

    Issued in the UK by AXA Investment Managers UK Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. Registered in England and Wales, No: 01431068. Registered Office: 22 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4BQ. In other jurisdictions, this document is issued by AXA Investment Managers SA’s affiliates in those countries.

    Risk Warning

    The value of investments, and the income from them, can fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the amount originally invested. 

    Are you an IFA or other Professional Investor ?

    Are you a financial advisor, institutional, or other professional investor?

    This section is for professional investors only. You need to confirm that you have the required investment knowledge and experience to view this content. This includes understanding the risks associated with investment products, and any other required qualifications according to the rules of your jurisdiction.