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Hurry Date Case Solution

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 642
  • Category: Dating

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Hurry Date, a small & privately owned company, is one of the America’s leading provider of speed dating with a strong brand recognition. It’s an online version of traditional round-robin speed dating. It operates a website HurryDate.com to screen singles looking to mingle. The range of service it provides are, online match-making, personal browsing and event hosting. It does this by hosting round-robin meeting event for potentials dating candidates. This is where they make money by charging customers for each person they meet. Online Speed Dating industry addresses most of the concerns the customers have by making it fast, fun, cheap, pro-networking, flirtatious, cherished, preference based & not forced upon. HurryDate in particular uses short date (only 3 minutes), virtual team, and training, performance evaluation of hosts to provide quality service. Its decentralized operations through hosts and centralized database are strategies to manage operations. This eliminates the need of fixed cost1. And subsequently they don’t have to rely more on credit. This coupled with media exposure, growing age group, sufficient site functionality, well organized events (leading to word-of-mouth), multiple revenue sources (dating website, speed dating events, subscription fees), Free-Party guarantee, sponsorships and partnerships are keys to HurryDate’s success.

However these partnerships comes with a caveat: Poorly chosen partner will not only eat on resources but also the funds & the user base. The number of online users grow with the growing population on daily basis. This isn’t considered while graphing the usage of online dating site2. Hence we cannot conclusively derive that industry conversion rate is falling for speed dating online users. Specific information on % of total number of online users aged 20-29 can help the analysis. Also, these conversions rates can be increased by addressing issues of expense, effectiveness, privacy & trust. The issue of expense can be addressed by charging only when a customer likes someone rather than charging for every person one meets or have one time registration fee to meet as many people as the customer wants. Cross promotions and promotional subscriptions can further the growth. After 5 years (2001-2006) of immense growth in terms of users they’re struggling with zeroing in the financing option. This is partly due to their negative cash-flows for initial three years3 and partly due to intensified competition from free social networking sites like Yahoo Personals, JDate and Facebook. Its immediate rival 8minutedating isn’t public yet.

While its cruise-line collaborators are undervalued with highest price per share, Spark network’s JDate & YHoo are over-valued. This leaves no firms comparable in terms of value, Spark Networks the closest. The income statement shows that the gross profit has increased by 31% (2002-2005), however the COGS almost doubled itself. This may be due to the training & travelling cost. This increases the breadth of operations. Marketing spend increased in 2004. However, during the same year, the loan liability decreased significantly favoring the internal funding. Revenue from Sponsorship contributed a mere 3% of the total, the rest came from event sales. Overall, the increase in gross profit margin from .75 to .86(2002-2005) and net profit margin from -.26 to .211 depicts a rosy picture.

Considering the brand name of sponsors, HurryDate should continue developing sponsorships. Since the equity of owner in 2005 is negative ($49,657), HurryDate should either issue shares or get funding from investment firms. After considering the potential deal breakers and assuming that no key customers will run away after the sale, I as an owner would get my firm audited, make my firm totally independent of me, and get the patent for the Round-Robin service add-ons. I’ll time it exactly around the period when interest rates are low. This will make it easy for buyers to seek finance making the deal even more viable. I may also think of collaborating with bank to make a deal on my behalf.

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