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August 30, 2018updated 03 Sep 2018 9:47am

Gay dating app Grindr goes public

By Ellen Daniel

Dating app Grindr has announced plans to list its shares on international stock exchanges in an initial public offering (IPO).

Grindr has been owned by Chinese technology company Kunlun Group since the company closed on its purchase of the remaining stake of the app from founder Joel Simkhai in January this year for $152m.

Previously, the company bought a 61.5% stake in Grindr for $93m in 2016.

According to the BBC, Kunlun Group said that financing arrangements will be made to support the platform’s expansion after the Grindr IPO is complete, subject to regulatory approval.

In the filing, Kunlun Group 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.”

What is Grindr?

With over 3.3 million daily active users in 192 countries across the globe, Grindr is the largest LGBTQ mobile social network.

When it was launched back in 2009, it was the first dating app to use geolocation technology available on the iTunes App Store, paving the way for the likes of Tindr and Bumble.

Grindr was originally created by Simkhai as a way for people with similar interests to find new friends nearby. Since then, the app has skyrocketed, reaching 27 million users in 2017.

In April this year, the app came under fire after Norwegian non-profit SINTEF reported that the data Grindr sent to third party companies could potentially contain users’ HIV status.

Moving forward

The Grindr IPO should mean that more funding is available to support the app’s long-term development. Last month, Verdict spoke to Landen Zumwalt, director of corporate communications at Grindr. Speaking on the future of the app, Zumwalt said that moving forward the app would continue to expand and adapt to meet the needs of the community:

 “For many years, we maintained our position by keeping our app simple, listening to our community, and focusing on making the experience better for all users. More recently, we’ve made more updates to our app that are in line with what our community have been asking for. For example, last year we made our app more inclusive of transgender users by adding in new gender categories and a gender identity FAQ.”

“We also launched a publication called INTO that offers groundbreaking journalism and digital content for the LGBTQ community. More recently we announced the ability to send audio messages because we learned that for some users in different countries, it’s much easier to do so than write in their native language.”