Investors swipe left on Match after Tinder CEO departure, poor forecast

The dating app Tinder is shown on a mobile phone in this picture illustration
The dating app Tinder is shown on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/Illustration/File Photo

Aug 3 (Reuters) - Match Group Inc (MTCH.O) was on track to shed a fifth of its value following the sudden departure of its Tinder unit head and a downbeat revenue forecast for the current quarter.

The company, which also owns dating apps Hinge and OkCupid, announced Renate Nyborg's exit from Tinder on Tuesday, making her the sixth chief executive officer to leave the dating app since its founding in 2012.

Her departure also comes just three months after Shar Dubey stepped down as Match's boss.

Shares of Match tumbled 22% and dragged down those of rival Bumble (BMBL.O), which fell nearly 4%.

Jefferies analyst Brent Thill said it was clear that execution at Tinder had been poor, pointing to problems with new products, including its in-app currency, Tinder Coins.

Even with the appointment of chief product and marketing officers at Tinder, there was no certainty of monetization, Thill said.

The company said it faced a number of challenges in the second quarter, including a hit from a stronger dollar, a drop in paying subscribers for some apps and a slow recovery in certain markets.

Match has been struggling with slowing demand compared with early last year, when users, eager to socialize, flocked to its dating apps as COVID-19 restrictions eased.

For the third quarter, it forecast revenue of $790 million to $800 million, which came in below Street estimates.

Match will also cut back on hiring and marketing spend in a challenging year, it said, which comes as it lays out plans for new product development.

"We worry that the decision to slow hiring and reduce marketing investments could make it more difficult to achieve next year's loftier revenue expectations," Thill said.

Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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