Markus Frind: The Craig Newmark of dating

by Mathew on October 30, 2007 · 12 comments

Richard MacManus of Read/Write Web has a post up today in which he talks about PlentyofFish.com, the Vancouver-based dating site, and the mind-boggling pageviews, unique visitors and revenue it is generating. Although founder Markus Frind can no longer claim to be a one-man shop (he recently hired his first employee), to be doing $30,000 a day in revenue and over 1 billion pageviews a month is still incredible.

Although Markus and Plenty of Fish have gotten some notice here and there — particularly in the SEO/AdSense community — it’s surprising how little attention they get for a site that is number one in its market in Canada and the United Kingdom, and second in the United States according to Hitwise. Not bad for one guy (okay, two now, plus Markus’s girlfriend) and a roomful of servers.

To me, Markus is a little like Craig Newmark. He started a service because it seemed like a good idea — although I think he had more of a sense that it could be a moneymaker than Craig did — and he hasn’t spent more than a dime or two on site design, as you can see if you go there. All he has done is to make things easier and more convenient for his user base (mostly by making membership free).

Markus may not be doing eight billion pageviews a month the way Craigslist is, but then they have 200 servers and 25 employees. Compared to Markus, Craig might as well be Microsoft :-) Is Plenty of Fish worth $1-billion, as Richard speculates? I have no idea — but it is definitely worth a ton of money to someone, and Markus deserves all the credit.

  • http://web-professor.net webprofessor

    Dude what are you talking about? His sites been on several television shows sometimes including him. He’s been mentioned by the BBC, NPR, and other new organizations. I’d say he’s pretty well known at this point.

  • Mathew

    Fair enough, Webprofessor — but he’s not even close to being as famous as Craig Newmark or Craigslist, which he arguably should be.

  • John

    It’s good to see some positivity coming from this side of the border. Throw in Flickr, StumbleUpon, Club Penguin, tetesaclaques, concept share, + more and you can see there are good ideas being launched up here. I’d like to see more Canadian startups get a little more spotlight down from the valley type but it seems like they’re too busy giving each other BJ’s over the next great website/clone that’s launched in San Francisco proper.

  • http://www.onebigu.com Eric

    I certainly think Markus Frind deserves more attention. Especially since he is earning so much of his fortune through Adsense. I remember reading an interview with Markus Frind in 2006 touting the idea of using Adsense and YPN as standard components in a business model. There are enough sceptics on this idea, but I think it is quite amazing to see someone get so rich off Adsense alone.

  • http://www.plentyoffish.com dav

    hey it deleted my plenty of fish profile for no reason iv ben usig the sight for ova a year n suddenly deleted my acct for no reason iv tried signing bk up but every to mins it deletes me agn if tried 10 times my email is davidmhart1@hotmail.com

  • http://www.emo-friends.com emo

    PlentyofFish.com is very good – i using it :)

  • http://www.plmania.com dating

    Markus is a clever guy. I love his network. As to Plentyoffish , it is a free online dating service, popular primarily in Canada, the UK, Australia and the United States. As far as I know these guys are able to offer the service for free because all of their income is derived from advertising revenue from ads that appear with user profiles.. It is about $5 million a year.. approximately.

  • http://www.LiveDateLove.com Alex

    I heard Marcus turned down an offer of 200 million dollars for his site. I think it was a big mistake as his revenue is about 10 milliion/year and he started to complain about increase in expenses to maintain his database. He also hired 3 employees last summer. In any case, I wish him good luck with his site.

  • Paul

    If Markus has found the secret to handling a billion hits with one server, vs 300 servers, I suggest he offer his services to the guys stuck with 300 servers and he could be making much more money.

  • Paul

    If Markus has found the secret to handling a billion hits with one server, vs 300 servers, I suggest he offer his services to the guys stuck with 300 servers and he could be making much more money.

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