Chelsea Grayson Confirmed as Permanent Spark Networks CEO

After a few months as Interim CEO, Chelsea Grayson will now become the permanent head of Spark Networks. 

In a recent release from the company, Grayson shared “I am pleased to announce that I have accepted the board’s request to serve as Spark’s permanent CEO”.

“During the strategic review, what has become clear is that Spark is far more than just Zoosk. While Zoosk holds strategic value as a large mass market dating site, we also have a base of quality affinity brands (including EliteSingles, SilverSingles, eDarling, Christian Mingle and Jdate) to invest in other than just Zoosk, which are in demand by a large global paying subscriber base.”

“Our non-Zoosk business is close to 50% of total revenue and several of our non-Zoosk brands have some of the best returns on capital in our portfolio. Going forward, we have identified several areas where we believe the Company can substantially increase cost efficiency and solidify around a lower revenue base with a well-diversified collection of key meaningful brands, with the goal of substantially improving Adjusted EBITDA margins”.

“Fundamentally, improving profitability is our highest priority. We are targeting at least a 50% increase in Adjusted EBITDA in 2023 or $28.0 million in Adjusted EBITDA. Going forward, we plan to accelerate our debt paydown with additional free cash flow. Our long-term goal is to achieve and sustain 25-30% plus Adjusted EBITDA margins consistent with industry averages”.

She highlighted a few key initiatives moving forward including:

  • “Solidify around a diversified core of key meaningful brands and achieve a trough revenue base in 2023”
  • “Reallocate capital into more profitable marketing channels and diversify away from affiliate to direct and social channels”
  • “Reallocate our marketing budget across our highest ROI yields”
  • “Improve product functionality across the portfolio to improve retention and engagement”
  • “Use our approximately $250 million in combined net operating losses (NOLs) to minimize taxable income”

“We believe the best way to build and sustain shareholder value is to target higher annual Adjusted EBITDA margins by right- sizing our cost structure, investing in our brands that have the highest ROI, reallocating capital to customer acquisition channels with the highest returns and strengthening our defined and diverse brands. We aim to substantially deleverage as we move forward and run a simpler, more profitable business model”, the new permanent CEO added.

To find out more about Chelsea Grayson and her plans for Spark Networks, watch our special Valentine’s Day episode of The GDI Podcast where Senior Reporter Sean Nolan spoke with her.

Spark Networks also shared details of its Q4 financial results, sharing that revenue was down almost over $10 million compared to the same period in 2021. Net loss was also up to $17.2 million, compared to $9.9 million in Q4 of 2021.

Looking at the full year 2022 financial results, Spark Networks’ revenue was at $187.8 million, compared to $216.9 million in 2021. 

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