Grindr has announced that it has sold a 60 per cent stake in its business to a Chinese gaming firm.
The self-funded growth of Grindr has come to an end. The world’s most famous gay dating app has sold a majority stake, reportedly worth $93m (£64m), of its business to tech firm Kunlun Tech Co, in China, a country which one can argue has a questionable gay rights history.
Taking to Grindr’s blog founder and CEO Joel Simkhai said,
“For nearly seven years, Grindr has self-funded its growth,
“We have taken this investment in our company to accelerate our growth, to allow us to expand our services for you, and to continue to ensure that we make Grindr the number one app and brand for our millions of users.”
Sixty per cent of the company has been sold to Kunlun Tech Co, a gaming company, whose chairman Zhou Yahui, 38, became a billionaire last year after his company was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in January.
The remainder of the company belongs to Simkhai and Grindr’s employees.
Grindr’s revenue was reported to be around $32 million in 2014, just a fraction of what Yahui has paid for the gay dating app.
The company is valued at around $150 million. Not bad for a startup which was created by Mr. Simkhai in 2009 with a couple of thousand dollars of investment. Its agreement with it’s new owner means that Grindr’s founders will continue to operate as is and it will, for now, retain the current team.
Speaking with THEGAYUK in 2012, Simkhai said that the thought of selling grindr made him “anxious” when he gave it too much thought. He said,
“(The) notion that ‘Joel, ‘X days from now or X months from now that Grindr will not be part of your life but just be a part of my resume or a part of my history’ makes me very anxious, makes me very uncomfortable.”
So now the new majority owner is a self identified straight man, what will become of the world’s most famous gay app?