A Chinese company now holds 60 percent of Grindr, the gay dating App.
A majority of 60 percent stake of Grindr, the largest social network dedicated to gay men has been bought by Beijing Kunlun Tech, a gaming company, for $93 million. Grindr’s value has been estimated at $155 million. It is for the first time when the six-year-old company received foreign investment.
According to The New York Times, Grindr reached a record of two million active users who spend about 54 minutes daily inside the app. The company reported revenue of $32 million in 2014, which was an improvement compared to the previous year when its revenue was about $25 million.
Joel Simkhai, the CEO of Grindr claims that things won’t change for regular users. The man declared to be happy about sharing their goal of connecting gay men around the world with a foreign company.
Employees together with Simkhai own the remaining shares and they hope that the new alliance will allow the app to expand its services.
Simkhai wrote a blog post in which he claims that the investment will accelerate the network’s growth, will lead to an expansion of its services and will take the app to the top, ensuring it becomes the number one dating app for millions of gay users.
On the other side, this deal will help Beijing Kunlun Tech expand outside of China. BKT has already started to diversify its business, investing $27 million in Quefenqui, a micro-loan company and $15 million in 1Mxian, a fresh produce e-tailer.
Another good side of this deal is that Grindr might reach the Chinese gay market, which is currently lead by Blued, a similar services also dedicated to gay men and having about the same number of users as Grindr. Some even say that Blued reached three million users as attitudes towards homosexuality started to shift in the Asian country.
Compared with Grindr which has users from all over the world, Blued has mostly internal users, with only about ten to fifteen percent from outside of China.
Homosexuality has been decriminalized in China in 1997 and in 2001 the Chinese Society of Psychiatry took if off the list of mental disorders. However, not many Chinese gay men and women come out of the closet as there is still stigma attached to the idea of loving a person of the same sex.
However, as acceptance is growing the internet sector and other investors are keeping an eye on the Chinese gay market.
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