From its Vancouver headquarters, the company provides dating services in five languages.
Its biggest market is the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil and Australia. K., is two to three years behind North America in accepting Internet dating services, says Frind, who was born in Donauwörth, Germany.
The 11-year-old company estimates one million relationships a year begin on its website.
Markus Frind, founder and CEO of Plenty Of Fish, the world's largest Internet dating site which is based in Vancouver.
In the background is newlywed couple Katy Severs and Mark Gomes, who met on POF five years ago.
In his vast love machine in downtown Vancouver, the man who brings romance to millions around the world is braced for the most passionate time of the year.
As Valentine’s Day looms, Plentyof Fish founder and CEO Frind knows that the world’s desire for love, or at least a reasonable facsimile of love, is about to peak. Plentyof Fish sees spikes in new memberships after most holidays during which families get together, Frind says.“There’s pressure from family.
As Plentyof Fish’s reach grows, the company has discovered distinct cultural approaches to courtship.“People in the United Kingdom will wear turtlenecks in the photos they send,” he says. They initiate as much as men.”VANCOUVERITES LOVE ONLINEThe company also sees differences in its own backyard.
Vancouverites in their early to mid-30s gravitate more toward online dating than do counterparts in cities such as New York, Toronto or Los Angeles.
Frind, who was then working for a Vancouver-based dot-com, created Plentyof Fish in his spare time.“A dating site was the hardest way I could think of at the time to learn a new language,” he says.
“In the first month, I made a thousand dollars and from then on I was convinced I should make this thing work.”He ran the company by himself from a spare bedroom of his apartment for five years until it reached million in annual revenue.“There were 15 million users and no employees,” he says.
More than 3.5 million people log into the site every day, many of them visiting several times.
Rivals such as may have more revenue, but POF’s more than 70 million registered users make it the world’s largest online dating service.
Markus Frind, founder and CEO of Vancouver-based Plentyof Fish, the world’s largest Internet dating site, poses with newlywed couple Katy Severs and Mark Gomes, who met on the site five years ago.