China’s Kunlun completes full buyout of Grindr

Fundings and Exits

Nearly two years to the day of its majority investment in Grindr, China-based tech firm Kunlun Group has fully acquired the gay dating app.

Grindr is among the, if not the, world’s most popular LBQT dating app with a claimed 3.3 million daily users. Kunlun, which is best known for games but is part of a consortium that acquired Opera’s browser business, bought 60 percent of the service in January 2016 for $93 million. China Money Network reported that Kunlun paid $152 million for the remaining stake, that’s according to stock filings.

The deal will also see a change in the structure of Grindr’s business with CEO and founder Joel Simkhai exiting the company. The startup’s current board chairman, Yahui Zhou, is stepping in as interim CEO until a full-time replacement is hired.

In other exec shuffles, current vice-chairman Wei Zhou becomes CFO with Scott Chen, formerly with Facebook and Instagram, moving in as CTO.

“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,” Simkhai said in a statement.

Grindr was founded over seven years ago and it never raised outside money. That’s pretty rare in this day and age.

Featured Image: Leon Neal/Getty Images

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