Gay dating app Grindr sells majority stake to Chinese company for $93 million

Joel Simkhai
Joel Simkhai
Grindr, a dating app for gay and bisexual men, just secured its first external investment from Chinese gaming company, Beijing Kunlun Tech, for $93 million.

The transaction will give Kunlun Tech, owned by tech billionaire Zhou Yahui, a 60-percent majority stake in the app, now valued at $155 million.

The move comes as a surprise for many within the tech industry, as up until now Grindr had self-funded its growth. The app’s founder, Joel Simkhai, started it for a few thousand dollars of his own money in 2009 and has since seen it grow to become the largest dating network for gay men. Grindr currently boasts 2 million daily users.

Simkhai was quick to assure the app’s user base that despite the deal, which gives Kunlun Tech a controlling stake in the company, it would be “business as usual” for the app. In a blog post on the Grindr website, Simkhai says, “[We now have] additional resources to deliver a great product to you. We…know you will be delighted by the new features and services we have planned this year.”

Simkhai’s comments indicate that 2016 is being viewed as a period of potential growth for the app, off the back of the investment. For its part, Kunlun Tech will seek to promote its products – which currently consist of mobile games – on the service, opening it up to new markets and users. Grindr currently counts the U.S., U.K., France, and Mexico as its biggest regions. Although a Chinese language version of the app is available in China, it has failed to take off in a country with a conservative populace that still considers being openly gay as taboo. Additionally, China does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions.

“We have been very impressed by Grindr’s progress to date and are extremely excited about the future of the company,” Zhou, who serves as chairman of Kunlun Tech, said in a statement to the New York Times.

Neither Grindr nor its new investor have commented on whether the deal will see the app making inroads into China. The move is part of a bigger strategy that has seen the relatively independent app branch out in an effort to monetize. Recently, Grindr livestreamed the J.W. Anderson catwalk show from London Fashion week.


Google’s storage-management app gets face-lift, is now called ‘Files by Google’

Google has revamped its files management app with a new look and name. Now known as Files by Google, the app received the company's all-white material redesign -- offering the same functionality, but with a cleaner look.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Social Media

Snapchat’s PR firm is suing an influencer for failing to influence

Snapchat's PR firm is suing a social media influencer for his alleged failure to promote Spectacles on Instagram. Actor Luka Sabbat was paid $45,000 upfront, but the suit claims he fell well short of the terms of the deal.

Urban legends for the digital age: The best scary stories from the internet

In need of some simple scares this Halloween? We've combed the internet for the best creepypastas, urban legends, and scary stories. From found footage YouTube videos to a deceptively scary wiki, these stories are sure to spook.

WhatsApp finally gives in to the lure of cash-generating ads

WhatsApp's co-founders always said their messaging app would never show ads, but once the pair quit the company, it seemed inevitable that its owner, Facebook, would find a way to incorporate them.

Shazam hooks up with Instagram Stories for another way to share songs

The latest update for Apple-owned Shazam lets iPhone users share music tracks to Instagram Stories in a few quick taps. To enable the feature, just make sure you have the latest version of Shazam loaded on your handset.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.