Confirmed: Penthouse Buys AdultFriendFinder For $500 Million
by Duncan Riley on December 11, 2007

As first reported by Michael November 17, the acquisition by Penthouse of Palo Alto based Various, Inc., the owner of AdultFriendFinder has been confirmed.

According to a NY Times report, the buying price was $500 million. Penthouse CEO Marc Bell said that Penthouse’s goal was to provide consumers, particularly 18-to-34-year-old men, with a wide variety of sex-related offerings and that the acquisition of Various Inc. would assist them with this.

AdultFriendFinder made headlines last week when the site settled with the Federal Trade Commission other allegations that pop-ups used in advertising the site were “without consumer consent was unfair, and violated the FTC Act.”

Various Inc. owns a variety of dating related sites, including non-adult dating sites and even a Christian dating site called BigChurch.com.

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  • A great payday…for some reason it now seems AdultFriendFinder is now in the right hands (no longer will anyone think this this is just an ordinary dating site)…congrats to both parties!

    • WHO AM I LOOKING FOR:
      HOT, WILD, & SEXY MEN WHO CAN ALSO DRIVE ME CRAZY, FULFILL MY DEEPEST &
      WILDEST SEXUAL FANTASIES, ALWAYS GAME NO MATTER WHAT (BEING ADVENTUROUS CAN
      BE A FACTOR) & GIVES ME THE SATISFACTION THAT I NEEDED (IN LIFE OR EVEN IN
      BED) HAHAHA… CAN YOU TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE?! THEN PROVE ME THAT YOUR
      WILLING TO IT! UUUMMMMM… CAN’T WAIT TO FEEL THAT I’M TRULY YOURS SWEETIE!
      WHAT I LIKE THE MOST IS HAVING A SENSE OF HUMOR, THE ONE WHO CAN MAKE ME
      LAUGH & BRINGS ME SMILES IN MY LIPS.

      WHO AM I LOOKING FOR:
      HOT, WILD, & SEXY MEN WHO CAN ALSO DRIVE ME CRAZY, FULFILL MY DEEPEST &
      WILDEST SEXUAL FANTASIES, ALWAYS GAME NO MATTER WHAT (BEING ADVENTUROUS CAN
      BE A FACTOR) & GIVES ME THE SATISFACTION THAT I NEEDED (IN LIFE OR EVEN IN
      BED) HAHAHA… CAN YOU TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE?! THEN PROVE ME THAT YOUR
      WILLING TO IT! UUUMMMMM… CAN’T WAIT TO FEEL THAT I’M TRULY YOURS SWEETIE!
      WHAT I LIKE THE MOST IS HAVING A SENSE OF HUMOR, THE ONE WHO CAN MAKE ME
      LAUGH & BRING SMILES IN MY LIPS.

      I’M INTERESTED IN:
      SOMETHING THAT I NEVER BEEN TRIED BEFORE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE (LIKE BUNGEE
      JUMPING, ROCK CLIMBING, OR HAVING SEX IN ANY CAMPUS PREMISES) HAHAHA… ALSO
      INTERESTED IN SOME SPORTS LIKE VOLLEYBALL, ETC. HANGING OUT WITH MY CLOSEST
      FRIENDS, CHATTING & FLIRTING WITH HOT BUT NICE MEN ARE SOME OTHER
      INTERESTED STUFF THAT I’LL LOVE TO DO. IF I DARE YOU… WOULD YOU HEED THE
      CALL?! add me jesica_lopes2002@yahoo.com

  • It’ll be interesting to see what valuation rise, Penthouse can rise this company to a year from now, give their existing clout in the adult industry

  • Its important for Penthouse to……… diversify

  • Duncan, the link to the BigChurch.com site is misspelled and thus takes you to a non-working URL.

  • So they just bought adult or will they care of the church as well? They over 20 diffrent sites i think.

  • I’ll toss off to this one!

  • “Penthouse’s goal was to provide consumers, particularly 18-to-34-year-old men, with a wide variety of sex-related offerings…”

    It will be interesting to see whether Penthouse can get women to sign up to become a “sex-related offering”…

  • Hell all you big mouth asskissers from GFY.
    Whos looking stupid now?

  • So that’s good news.. there’s no bubble.. only a bubblelet… which is good ;-)

  • This is supposed to be an Adult Friend Finder - which means catering to the needs of both genders.

    This business model may be doomed because Penthouse is only concerned about the male ego - most woman are not going to allow themselves to be treated as a shopping online service for a piece of meat, unless she wants to be leased out as a paid escort.

    If bad karma and a degrading attitude is displayed then you will only attract a certain type of woman…

    A good man is hard to find, but a hard man is good to find

  • Duncan,

    the BigChurch link is wrong, you non-believer ;)


    http://viibee.com, online dating is fun again

  • Congrats to Andrew Conru. Nice price and timing, IMHO. If you’re a startup founder you don’t know the Conru story, should check it out.

  • PlayPal.eu - Want to repeat that model, but in Europe? Contact me.

  • almost all of that amount goes into Andrews bank account. HOT DAMN!

  • link fixed, apologies. There’s got to be some irony about an adult operator running a dating site for god botherers, WWJT? :-)

  • Merry Christmas! What a nice present. Looks like there will be Ferrari’s under the tree this year:)

  • Why so cheap?? His revenue was around 250m/year. If he sat on it, in 4 years it would be 1bn, and this business is recession-proof.

  • I Am Not Posting To Spam My Blog - December 12th, 2007 at 4:01 am PST

    Hopefully Penthouse will drive some synergies between Various’ various dating sites. BigChurch users could be sent subtle emails hinting that if they’re frustrated after the nth time they went home alone after their date said they were “saving themselves for marriage”, they can satisfy themselves with a quick one-night stand.

    While AdultFriendFinder subscribers might be feeling dirty and tired of sleazy encounters in a cheap motels, and might feel that a movie and dinner with a girl who talks about Jesus, doesn’t show her ankles and stares constantly into the middle distance would make a nice change.

  • Whaaaaaa… I don’t get it…

    How does a successful, established site like AdultFriendFinder only get $500 million when it has a market that’s willing to pay for services?

    I’m obviously making reference to Facebook’s $15 billion valuation and the fact that the SN is relatively new and lacks a ‘paying’ target market…

    Cheers,
    Aidan
    http://www.MappingTheWeb.com

  • That’s great! http://www.wannago.com is launching today 12.12 in Israel

  • looks like Penthouse got a great deal.

  • Congrats Andrew! Glad to see you made your IMS experience into something big!

  • Wow. I had always assumed that Adult Friend Finder was a scam to get horny guys to part with their cash, and that all the “women” on there were just auto generated profiles with just random pics pulled from other places on the web.

  • Adult friend finder is a scam. Sex sells. Even if its fantasy. Gotta pay to play. If you want to find me…click my link. Otherwise, you’re annoying me lol.

  • AFF is not a scam… at least not completely. All sites with profiles contain some scammers and spammers, and dating sites are probably worse than most, but there are real adults making friends on there… or else the pricetag would have been a LOT less than $500 MM. True that’s a low multiple, but that’s the porn discount at work. On a DCF (discounted cash flow) basis, $500 MM is going to provide a helluva IRR (internal rate of return) for Heff. Probably 30%+. That is value creation for Penthouse and its investors. And it’s money in the bank for Andrew and his crew.

  • IMHO this is a bargain for Penthouse. NBC bought the village idiots, um…I mean ivillage for $600 million and I bet their revenues were no where near AFF.
    Congrats to Andrew Conru!

  • Here’s hoping that Penthouse reverses some of the unethical practices that AFF was partaking in such as advertising on torrent sites that were dealing in stolen copyrighted content.

    They have helped to monetize many sites whose whole existence was based around aiding the distribution of unauthorized content. Shame…

  • Adult Friend Finder is #1 adult dating even althought it’s full of cam girls wanting you to pay.

  • It’s certainly a steal when you look at the revenue only, on the other hand the growth potential is limited since it’s already very saturated…so I’d say a good deal for both of them.

  • $500M Wow. Someone above made reference to facebook only going for $15M. The clear difference is the tiered subscription packages charged by AFF, starting at $15 / mo and going as high as $30. For the impatient person, it quickly adds up to something on par with your cell phone bill. By comparison, Facebook makes it’s profit almost solely from advertising. Yes, this is a cash cow for Penthouse.

    And as said, it’s not all spammers either, though they are significant. There are some ways built in to screen against them. One odd feature is an IM applet that allows you to contact others for free, even though sending someone a direct email still requires a pay subscription.

    The principal drawback to this site is that with current advertising it doesn’t attract average, everyday people who could just get what they want at the local bar. From a business perspective, this is a relatively good thing in that the subscription base seems to be largely in the 30 and older market that use this as their sole means of dating, meaning that there’s a strong base of buyers for continued business growth.

  • AFF is definately for real. My wife and I have met many beautiful, sexy, and fun people on there. What we like is being able to screen people when you are not drunk and plan on meeting in a safe, sober environment. If everything clicks, then it’s time to get busy! We like our AFF friends way more than our “Bar” friends.

  • I’ve been an AFF member for a couple of years and have done VERY well meeting women. The key is that yes you need to be a paying member because you have very limitrd options and amost have no chance of meeting women because you need the ability to send out messages which is limited to non-paying mambers. The guys that are having problems are usually the non-paying members that think beautifu women are going to look at photos of their ‘members” and think the e-mails are going to fly in. Get a reality check. There are 100 guys to every girl and we all have the same baisc equpment. The really hot girls are not looking for losers that have no face photos and have nothing to offer except dick photos…I am very happy with AFF and I’m an average 50 something guy. You just need to know how to present yourself and have some respect for yourself and the women you message.

  • The scam to spam ratio of AFF compared to read adults looking for action is north of 95%. Why else would they sell. And look who they sold the darling too. Penthouse, the ones that brought a whole new meaning to term POP-UP. So get this, I go to Penthouse site and guess what POPs up within 20 seconds. AFF. SCAM DOT CUM.

  • John Smith is right. I have been a paying member of AFF for several years and have met several women through the site. But the site can be a bit frustrating. As a “silver” member you cannot view “new” members for at least 3 days, and you are taken to a screen that tries to get you to buy a gold membership so you can view newbies right away. So, they manage to keep your membership clock ticking away! And yes, the men to ladies ratio is very lopsided. Most of the real women get swamped with emails from guys, so its very competitive. To complicate things, the number of bi women and couples seeking bi women on AFF is through the roof, so the field of available hetero women is greatly narrowed! On the other hand, I have watched many beautiful ladies (regular people, not pro models) from all over the world on their webcams on AFF, and some of the “shows” have been wild!! Truth is, I met more (horny,LOL) women thru yahoo profiles and chat rooms 3-5 years ago, and it was free!! As with almost all internet “meat markets”, there are loads of players, scammers, losers, bitter divorced people and just plain rude people, so one should go at this with the right attitude! Shark infested waters to be sure….

  • Nah!, AFF is definitely a SCAM. They post ads everywhere where supposed ladies say “visit my site” you click and you are forwarded to AFF’ sites. Besides, I read profiles of architects, lawyers and all sorts of busy ladies who are online on AFF the whole day and every day from dawn to dusk and they don’t answer a word. Yes there are some real members there, but the use of “hooks” or “hookers” is definitely a common technique based on FAKE info provided by AFF. Say me a member of AFF pay my fee and fill many ads sites with FAKE posts on “write to me dirty words, I will be yours…” (naked pic), etc.

  • It matters not who bought them or what they paid, the site still runs like crap with technical issues abundant.

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  • Hot, beautiful, young normative intelligent well balanced women are naturally appalled at the idea of being sexual service providers to anonymous creepy, perverted men, anything to do with the internet. Women are driven by hundreds of thousands of years of Biological evolutionary hard wiring deep within our circuitry to interact over time with a man as the attraction cycle amps up and begins the natural process over time. It’s a process that is developed with only ongoing personal contact. We women MUST feel SAFE, and protected by a man we could trust before ever having being relaxed enough for genuine sexual thoughts even enter our minds. Porn actresses, and sex industry workers, models for playboy ect are PAID BIG ENORMOUS BUCKS to smile, flirt, and (((PRETEND)))) they love what they do. They are there to stroke the male ego and it has confused and conditioned men to think that is NORMAL. It’s not at all. A truly sick joke played on men’s egos that no one will tell you different. Too much money at stake in the Billion dollar Sex industry that thrives on your dollar contributions. That in itself is a scam since the beginning of time. Women don’t want to be leered at, touched, fondled, masturbated to or read foul vulgar language, see disgusting male parts…. Thought and treated as a degrading, humiliating sexual object. It’s NOT in our best interest for future survival. Nature made it that way, to keep us safe from men, who don’t care for us, and demonstrated it with proof over time. Men can easily murder, rape, main, torture, harm, terrorize, stalk act. if we are dumb enough for curiosity reason to open our vaginas instantly to some unknown creepy male on the internet. Those who do are driven by sexual desire, those women are grossly unattractive, have mental disorders, are really old and have NO other way to get ANY interaction with a male. These substandard rejected women use their sexual willingness to lure interactions and entertainment from men. It’s not for the sexual desire, but social. Women don’t react and become sexually aroused as men. Men just don’t get this, and are fools for spending endless amounts for a fantasy designed by men business entrepreneurs to keep them rich and prosperous

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