For almost 20 long years, Jeevansathi.com, one of the largest online matrimonial websites in India, matched people and created lakhs of marriages. After 10 years of its corporate run, it has turned profitable.
Started by Info Edge, the company that’s credited with a revolution in India’s internet businesses with other portals like Naukri.com and 99acres, Jeevansathi was the first online matrimonial portal. Sanjeev Bikchandani started Jeevansathi in 1998, almost the same time Google was founded, and Info Edge the parent company that owns Naukri, bought it back in 2004.
Jeevansathi may be running since 1998, but it’s evolved with time. Today the portal has an app, it’s increased its focus on “finding a partner”, rather than serving as a “marriage maker”, and has launched many new-age campaigns that highlight Jeevansathi’s value for the prospective bride or groom, rather than just the parents.
The BSE-listed company has brought in Rs. 65 lakhs in earnings (before EBIDTDA) during the first quarter of the financial year 2016-17 while its revenue grew from 10.9 to 14.6 crores. Jeevansathi management credits the growth in market share for the profits.
With over 8 million registered members, Alexa-ranked 445 Jeevansathi is the third largest player in the online matrimony market but its mobile app is the number 1 rated app in the same market. While surfing profiles and expressing interest on the website is free, members have to pay to view the contact details of a prospect. There are various subscription plans catering to different communication and privacy requirements.
Amidst stiff competition from Shaadi.com and Bharatmatrimony on one hand, and online dating apps like Tinder and Truly Madly on the other, Jeevansathi’s turning of profits is a heartening sign that a first mover advantage, evolving with time and persistence eventually pays off.
And also, that marriages in India may have gone all online and self serving datings apps, but there still exists a large market for them to be arranged.