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Match.com’s buyer was Gary Kremen, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur frustrated by the amount of money he was spending on 1-900 dating hotlines.

He purchased for ,500 (£1,650) and launched it as a dating service on the open internet in 1995.

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Eric Klien, a Las Vegas-based entrepreneur, had spent six months pondering the dilemma of dating.

“Traditional methods of courting and flirting are risky generally,” he wrote at the time.

It was free to fill in and provided users with a report informing them how many of the men/women on his system matched their responses. Klien, a somewhat eccentric philanthropist whose interests include cryogenics and the Lifeboat Foundation (an NGO dedicated to the preservation of human life in the event of global disaster), now lives in Reno, Nevada.

He has never spoken about the “Matchmaker”, and when I track him down he is brusque and to-the-point.

They messaged for a few days by fax and email before speaking on the phone, and then went on their first date to a Chinese restaurant in 1996.

Freddie wasn’t technical enough to upload a picture, so Bill had no idea what she looked like - which was relatively common in the early days.

“And a person only has to answer the questions once and then they will be applied to all future matches.” In 1993, Klien sold his questionnaire and the domain name so he could focus on a new mission.

It was called the Atlantis Project and it aimed to build an independent city called Oceania in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.

In his first TV interview, Kremen wore a tie-dyed shirt and sat on a beanbag.

“will bring more love to the planet than anything since Jesus Christ,” he pronounced.

It has a Google-like track record of gobbling up its competition: it purchased Ok Cupid in 2011, and also owns Tinder, a wildly popular mobile app founded in 2012.

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