Gay hookup app Grindr sold a majority stake to a Chinese gaming company

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joel simkhai grindr ceo

BREAK the SILENCE/YouTube

Joel Simkhai, founder and CEO.

Grindr is selling a majority stake to a Chines gaming company.

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The popular gay hookup and dating app has announced that the Beijing Kunlun Tech Company is buying 60% of the company, according to multiple news reports.

The deal values Grindr at $155 million (£107 million). The other 40% is split between Joel Simkhai, founder and CEO, and company employees who have equity.

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Why sell? Grindr's COO, Carter, McJunkin, told The New York Times that it was about growing the business. "We have users in every country in the world, but in order to get to the next phase of our business and grow faster, we needed a partner."

Looking forward, the company is going to attempt "solving more problems" for its users. "We've expanded to make it more of a lifestyle company," said McJunkin.

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Meanwhile, it sounds like there may be more acquisitions on the horizon for Beijing Kunlun as it builds its portfolio. In a statement, chairman Yahui Zhou said: "We will continue to seek out and invest in high-quality technology companies led by top-tier management across the globe."

We got a look at Grindr's financials last year thanks to the hack of extra-marital affairs dating site Ashley Madison. At one point Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison's parent company, considered investing in or acquiring Grindr (though ultimately decided not to due to the price tag), and ex-CEO Noel Biderman's leaked emails contained a slide deck prepared by Grindr.

The company has grown healthily over the last few years with revenues rising to $31.8 million (£22 million) in 2014, up from $15.8 million (£11 million) in 2012, with estimated revenues of $38.1 million (£26 million) in 2015. (The slide deck was prepared in June 2015.)

By the end of 2018, it predicted annual revenues of as much as $77 million (£53 million) - more than twice that of 2014.

By a considerable margin, its single biggest audience is USA, with just under 1.3 million monthly active users (MAUs). This is followed by the UK (377,000), Brazil (248,000), and France (185,000). Overall, it has 10.5 million global users, of which 3.8 million are monthly active users (MAUs). MAUs were forecast to grow by more than 40% in 2015.

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Notably, Grindr claimed that the average daily time its users spend on the app is higher than other social networks. It claims 54 minutes daily, compared to Facebook's 42.1 minutes, Tumblr's 34.2 minutes, and Instagram's 21.2 minutes. For Tinder, a dating app with similar functionality which also has heterosexual users, that figure is pegged at just 14.9 minutes daily. (The data came via a report from eMarketer.)

Grindr has not previously taken outside funding.

Grindr financials

Grindr

Grindr's financials as seen in the June 2015 slide deck.

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