One of Bharatmatrimonys 15000 15 matrimonial sites has serious competition: the Malayala Manorama group, the most pervasive media group in Kerala has launched M4Marry.com, a matrimonial site targeting Malayalees both from India and abroad, reports Afaqs. The site currently has around 55,000 subscribers, and the company is targeting 1.5 lakh in the next six months – that’s an addition of 15833 subscribers per month. We’ll do a status check then.

Manorama Online also plans to launch other classified portals; real estate is next. Manorama’s media reach cannot be underestimated, and it would be interesting to track the impact of M4Marry on other matrimonial portals, particularly Keralamatrimony, since Bharatmatrimony is dominant in South India (according to a competitor), segmented according to regions and religion.

Going through Manorama Online, I noticed that they already have a classifieds section: with Matrimonial, Real Estate, Jobs, Auto, Personals and Business classifieds. So I wouldn’t be surprised if instead of keeping these segments within the horizonal (Manorama Online), they’re planning to move towards verticals, with separate websites. Manorama’s appears rather dated, and I wonder if the growth of the classifieds business was being constrained by legacy infrastructure. Even then, a surficial makeover like the one MoneyControl got might make it appear more contemporary.

So far, the trend has been of separating the classifieds business from the portal/news site – Times Business Solutions was hived off from Indiatimes by BCCL and Firefly will house the classifieds verticals from HT Media, while Hindustantimes.com and Livemint.com will remain with HT Media. And Real Estate classifieds appear to be in vogue among online media companies – While MagicBricks (Times Business), 99Acres (Info Edge), Indiaproperty (Consim) have been around for a while, People Interactive launched Makaan.com earlier this year, and HT Media is also entering that space. Do look up the domain registration for MakaanNama.com

Related:
Q1-09 Call: HT Media – Rs. 100 Crores Internet Biz In 1.5 Years; Matrimonial Portal In Q3, Real Estate In Q1 2010
Info Edge Q1 2008-09 Earnings Call – Investment Strategy; On Competition From Makaan, Shine, LinkedIn; All The Numbers

Disclosure: I own an inconsequential number of shares of Info Edge