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That changed in 1997 when, in spite of his "strenuous objections," Match's investors sold the startup for million to Cendant, a Connecticut consumer-services company.The next year, Cendant sold the company to IAC/Inter Active Corp, then still operating under the name Ticketmaster, for million.All Kremen got out of the transaction was ,000 from selling his company stock and a lifetime account on the site.Over the next few years, a combination of joint ventures and technological innovation helped Match to flourish.The site required users to do all of the searching and selecting themselves.But the company now lives up to its name, using complex formulas to recommend users to each other with features like "Daily Five" (introductions to five potential matches each day) and "Singled Out" (introductions for only the most promising matches).Despite how much work Kremen put into launching and running Match, he initially reaped neither romantic nor financial rewards."I was so focused on the business that I was lucky to have time to go to the bathroom," he says.
Often while still in his pajamas, he sat glued to his Sun workstation, designing Match's Web site and developing marketing strategies.Still, it's Match's algorithms that may be its most valuable asset.Initially, Match was not actually a "matching" service.Match consistently comes in among the top five based on traffic.Kremen says the "relentless" work ethic at Match helped distinguish his site from the first flock of online dating services.
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The schedule became even more grueling after Kremen received $1.5 million in venture capital, allowing him to hire a handful of employees.