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Grindr to sell shares, so you can own your rejection

Nick Duffy August 30, 2018

Gay dating app Grindr is getting some public action.

The current owners of the gay hook-up app have announced plans for a public listing for the company.

Chinese tech giant Kunlun Group Limited has held a majority stake in the company since May 2017, when it bought a controlling 61.5% stake from the app’s founder Joel Simkhai.

It purchased the remainder of the company in January 2018, in a deal that valued the company at $400 million.

Grindr (Leon Neal/Getty)

The parent company on Thursday (August 30) announced plans to “publicly issue shares and trade on the overseas stock exchanges.”

The IPO Plan, which did not include a timetable for the shift, would see the company listed outside China.

Kunlin announced the move in a filing on the Shenzhen stock exchange in China, hoping to raise funding to support expansion of the app.

Kunlun said: “Grindr’s listing won’t exert a huge influence on the group’s revenues and profits.

“Meanwhile, Grindr can have an individual and direct financing platform which can support its expansion and long-term development.”

Grindr (Leon Neal/Getty)

Grindr has branched out since Kunlun took a stake, launching digital magazine publication Into which is heavily promoted via the hook-up app.

The app’s rapid acquisition by the Chinese firm led to warnings about its security earlier this year.

Experts on Chinese intelligence warned the hook-up app would be an easier target for the Chinese government to cultivate “as part of intelligence and foreign influence operations in the United States”.

Peter Mattis, a former U.S. government intelligence analyst and China fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, told the Washington Post that he was concerned the app could be used as part of an effort “to collect a lot of personal information on a lot of different people, and to build a database of names that’s potentially useful either for influence or for intelligence.”

Chinese companies often face pressure to fork over data to the government for “public security” reasons, but Grindr insisted at the time that the company employs state-of-the-art technology to protect user data, and that it remains a US company subject to the laws of the United States.

Former Grindr CEO Joel Simkhai said previously: “I’m beyond proud of what we’ve built as a team and how Grindr has been able to make a meaningful and lasting contribution to the global community.

“We have achieved our success because of the strength and global reach of our community. I look forward to Grindr and Kunlun’s continued commitment to building tolerance, equality, and respect around the world.”

More: Gay, Grindr, LGBT, tech

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