This week, MeetMe (MEET) announced that it's rebranding the parent company of all of its website and apps from MeetMe to The Meet Group. The strategy comes just as MeetMe closed on its acquisition of if(we), a social media company that includes both the hi5 and Tagged meeting apps, to take on competitors in the cutthroat social-media space.
What the company's doing
The Meet Group said in a press release that it's changing its name as it focuses on acquiring new companies and building out a strong portfolio of brands for people meeting people. Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group, said in prepared remarks included in the release that, "We are no longer MeetMe, Inc. running a single app, but a global portfolio of mobile meeting apps that spans ten million monthly active users."
The company now consists of the MeetMe, Skout, Tagged, and hi5 social-meeting brands. The latter two came via the if(we) acquisition for $60 million in cash last month. Meet Group expects the deal to contribute $9 million of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) in the first 12 months, and help the company generate $150 million in annualized revenue and $50 million of adjusted EBITDA.
If(we) brought in $44 million in revenue last year, and saw its mobile revenue growth jump by 56% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2016. The company's users have now boosted The Meet Group's total mobile monthly active users to 10.6 million.
From this, we start to see why MeetMe is looking to rebrand. The company has been growing its user base and its list of services through acquisitions, and it appears that it's looking to do more of this in the future to fuel more growth.
Meet Group said in the release that the company's mission is "to innovate, acquire, and build the largest mobile portfolio of brands." It also said that, "We believe the new umbrella brand will better position the company to consolidate the fragmented mobile meeting industry into an efficiently run portfolio."
This isn't the first time we've seen MeetMe acquire a company in order to quickly expand its influence in the social-media space. The company did the same thing when it acquired Skout just last year, which helped MeetMe boost its revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016 by 47% and its mobile revenue by 62%, both on a year-over-year basis.
Taking on the competition
While The Meet Group said in the press release that the company is "larger than dating," its hard not to make comparisons between its recent rebranding and The Match Group (MTCH). Match consists of the dating companies OkCupid, Tinder, PlentyOfFish, and Match.com
The two companies are vying for a market where people meet up with each other. While Meet Group may want to pivot away from dating, that doesn't mean it still won't be competing with Match for mobile users and time spent using the apps.
As of right now, that's a race easily won by Match, which has 50 million active users from the Tinder app alone. But Meet is expanding quickly. The company is already adding 130,000 new members every day, and if more acquisitions are on the horizon, then Meet may be even better positioned to carve out its own niche in the social media space.