UPDATE (3/29/2020): After reports that it might happen, Grindr has indeed been sold for $608.5 million. This means the massive gay dating app goes from the hands of Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd, to San Vicente Acquisition.
The sale came at the demand of the U.S. government who were concerned about China possibly harvesting the data of users. San Vicente now owns a 99% stake in the company.
ORIGINAL (3/6/2020): Grindr, the gay dating app that most of us love to hate, is set to be sold for a cool $608 million according to new reports. The sale, comes right ahead of a June 2020 deadline set by the U.S government for the company.
According to Reuters, Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd, which first bought a majority stake in the app in 2016, has announced the impending sale today. The sale was demanded by a U.S. government panel named the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States which had concerns over the ownership. Many said those concerns revolved around personal data of Grindr users.
As a result, the 98% stake that Kunlun owns — they bought around 60% in 2016 for $93 million and the remainder stake for $142 million in 2018 — will go to San Vicente Acquisition LLC. It is not immediately clear who the owners and investors of that group are but Reuters sources say that James Lu is one of the investors in San Vicente. Lu was previously an executive of the Chinese search engine Baidu.
The news comes as Grindr receives criticism on the relaunch of its editorial platform. Though it shuttered INTO, its short-lived editorial site under former The Advocate editor-in-chief Zach Stafford, in the past few weeks the app launched BLOOP. The blog describes itself as a “space for Grindr users to connect around sex, dating, and everything else happening on — and off — the apps.” Of the most criticized aspects is "Dear Dad," an “advice column on sex, love, and dating.”
Many have noted that it is similar in name to J.P. Brammer’s "Hola Papi." Brammer’s column started at Grindr’s INTO before shifting to Them, and then to Out. Currently it is being developed into a memoir for Simon & Schuster and Brammer self-publishes the column on SubStack.
But Grindr isn’t the only app involved in a sale. A year ago — to the month — GROWLr announced that it had been bought by The Meet Group. The company, at the time, owned multiple dating platforms, all straight, and was looking to expand. That was an $11.8 million deal. Well now, The Meet Group is being bought.
NuCom Groupin, the joint company of ProSiebenSat.1 and General Atlantic have purchased The Meet Group in one of their biggest transactions to date. The deal will see GROWLr and its sister apps join brands like eharmony and Elite Partner in this new umbrella company.
According to The Meet Group representatives, this will only be good news for GROWLr users.
“You shouldn’t expect anything to change on GROWLr as a result of this news,” a representative told Queerty. “The Parship Group has a long history in the gay dating space in Europe, having launched their first gay dating brand at the same time as they initially launched their flagship Parship app in 2001. We are thrilled to become part of a group that shares our commitment to inclusiveness and our mission to help everyone find the love they seek.”
“Being part of this larger family of apps will allow us to continue investing and innovating to make GROWLr the best place for the bear community to connect, chat, and meet,” they continued.