Frind says people in their 20s are a bigger presence in Vancouver’s nightclub scene than in other cities, prompting older singles to go online in their quest for company.A HOBBY TURNED PASSIONPlentyof Fish was born in 2003 when Frind, a graduate of B. Institute of Technology’s computer systems technology program, wanted to learn a new programming language.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.But Frind ensures the company is constantly evolving.As the dating industry consolidates, Frind has put aside million for acquisitions.From its Vancouver headquarters, the company provides dating services in five languages.
Its amorous constituency has grown well beyond Canada.
“It started to get a little crazy.”Today, he employs about 75 people in a 10,000-square-foot office dominated by big-screen monitors flashing real-time data on user log-ins, profiles and emails per second.
He won’t disclose how much revenue his private company makes but answers “of course” when asked if it makes money.“We’ve never had a loss of any kind,” he says.
In September, Plentyof Fish bought Fast Life, a company that hosts speed dating and singles events in Canada, Australia and the U. LOOKING FOR THE FAIRY-TALE ENDINGThose hoping for a fairy tale about how Frind met his own partner through Plentyof Fish will be disappointed.
In reality, they met at a dot-com where both were employed before he started his company.“Everyone wants one of those (fairy tales). Katy Severs and Mark Gomes don’t have to make one up.