As more people are preferring to search online for a partner than in a bar or club, the web dating business is worth more than £2 billion a year worldwide and niche targeting is helping businesses meet customer needs.One of the fastest growing online dating companies is Global Personals, based in Windsor, which was set up eight years ago.
It currently employs 100 staff and has 14 websites including Just Widower Dating and Just Divorced Singles which cater for very specific markets.
But 85% of Global Personals’ income is from selling software for other people to host their own rebranded sites – known as “white label” sites.
“We provide the technology, customer care and database for other brands to put their label on it and market it to consumers,” says founder Ross Williams.
The service is used by individuals who want to set up a dating business and also by several media companies for their linked dating sites like FHM, Bizarre and Maxim magazines. In total it hosts 6,000 white label sites.
Another specialist target is the Asian market, where sites such as Shaadi.com appeal to people who are more interested in settling down than dating.
The Mumbai-based company claims to have fixed more than two million weddings worldwide since it opened 15 years ago.
The site uses the same search criteria that families would use when trying to arrange a marriage in the traditional way but does everything online.