Grindr sells 60% stake to Chinese gaming company to help expand services

Gay and bisexual dating app Grindr has sold a 60 per cent stake to Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech.

The cash boost is the first outside investment the startup has received, and places the firm's value at $155m.

Founder Joel Simkhai and Grindr employees own the remaining chunk of the business, with Simkhai saying it will be "business as usual" for the company "but with a renewed sense of purpose and additional resources to deliver a great product."

In a blog post to users he said: "For nearly seven years, Grindr has self-funded its growth, and in doing so, we have built the largest network for gay men in the world.

"We have taken this investment in our company to accelerate our growth, to allow us to expand our services for you, and to continue to ensure that we make Grindr the number one app and brand for our millions of users."

The hook-up platform claims to host up to two million visitors each day and uses geolocation tracking to pair up couples.

With the use of online dating services on the rise, a report filed yesterday (11 January) by the Press Association noted a seven-fold increase in crimes linked to products such as Grindr and Tinder.

Commenting on the purchase, Zhou Yahui, chairman of Beijing Kunlun, said: “We have been very impressed by Grindr’s progress to date and are extremely excited about the future of the company. We will continue to seek out and invest in high-quality technology companies led by top-tier management across the globe.”

In 2015 Beijing Kunlun Tech bought a stake in British mortgage lender LendInvest.

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