SAN FRANCISCO: Social network Grindr said Monday (May 9) that it has partnered with a special purpose acquisition company to become a publicly traded company valued, from the start, at US$2.1 billion.
Los Angeles-based Grindr is set to raise US$384 million when it combines with Tiga Acquisition Corp and becomes Grindr Inc.
“Grindr is the leading LGBTQ+ community-focused platform for digital connection and engagement,” said CEO Jeff Bonforte.
“Grindr is well positioned to be a public company and will continue to expand its services to the LGBTQ+ community. »
Grindr averaged 10.8 million monthly users last year, most of whom were 35 or younger, the company said in a statement.
The startup founded in 2009 claims to be profitable.
Grindr’s union with SPAC awaits regulatory approval and is expected to be consummated in the second half of this year, the company said.
“This transaction is a milestone,” said James Lu, Chairman of Grindr’s Board of Directors.
The Grindr app vanished from several app stores in China earlier this year as authorities tightened control of the country’s already heavily policed internet and purged online behavior the ruling Communist Party frowns upon.
The country’s cyber authority has waged a campaign to root out illegal and sensitive content during the Chinese New Year holiday and the Winter Olympics in February.
Although the world’s most populous nation decriminalized homosexuality in 1997, same-sex marriage is illegal and LGBTQ issues remain taboo.
Grindr’s former Chinese owner, Beijing Kunlun Tech, sold the app to investors in 2020 under pressure from US authorities over concerns that the potential misuse of its data posed national security risks.
Norwegian authorities said in December that they were fining Grindr more than €6 million for unlawfully sharing users’ personal data with third parties.
“Our conclusion is that Grindr has disclosed user data to third parties for behavioral advertising without a legal basis,” said Tobias Judin, head of the Norwegian Data Protection Authority’s (DPA) International Department.
Grindr, which bills itself as “the world’s largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans and queer people”, is accused of sharing GPS coordinates, elements of its users’ profiles such as age or gender. sex and the very fact that they use the application, thus giving indications of their sexual orientation.
The lack of clear information on this practice given to users and the absence of explicit approval on this point on their part violates the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) adopted by the European Union in 2018, according to the DPA Norwegian.
Grindr has appealed the fine, the Norwegian regulator said in an online post in February.