Grindr, billed as the world’s largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people, is going public. The news comes after Grindr’s parent company, China-based Kunlun Group, unanimously approved the move.
In January 2016 Kunlun bought a 61.5% percent stake in Grindr for $93M and then in January 2018, it purchased the remaining shares. BBC reports the public filing indicates that after the initial public offering (IPO) is completed, financing arrangements will be made to support Grindr’s expansion.
According to a January 2018 article by the Washington Post, privacy and intelligence leaders have concerns with the Chinese based company owning Grindr. They believe China could be “sweeping up massive amounts of data on not only its own citizens, but also Americans and others, as part of a unique and well-planned effort to build files on foreigners for intelligence purposes.”
Grindr was founded in 2009 by Joel Simkhai, an Israeli immigrant to the US who grew up in Mamaroneck, New York. Today the company is based in Los Angeles and boasts over 27 million users globally.