Grindr wants to step up a gear economically. The dating app specializing in the LGBTQ+ public announced on Monday its intention to go public, an operation that would value it at $ 2.1 billion.
The platform, used by around 11 million people every month, plans to raise $384 million to invest in its infrastructure and monetization tools, to attract and retain more people, and to diversify its revenues.
Mainly users under 35
“We have a global brand that is present almost everywhere in the community we serve, an impressive size, an industry-leading user engagement rate and operating margin, and we are just beginning our journey in terms of monetization and growth,” said Jeff Bonforte, CEO of Grindr.
The Californian company has decided to go through a Spac (Special purpose acquisition company), an already listed financial vehicle that merges with a company to allow it to enter the stock market more easily than via a traditional IPO. It highlights its “mission to serve the LGBTQ + community” and its potential by indicating that its target market “is growing rapidly”, and that the application “still only affects 2%” of this market. She also notes that 80% of the profiles belong to people under the age of 35.
Conflicts in several countries
Grindr, however, faces conflicts with authorities in different countries. The American company recently appealed a record fine of 6.3 million euros imposed on it by Norway for illegally sharing personal data “about its users with third parties for targeted marketing”. In other countries, the app is censored. In January, it disappeared from app stores in China, where same-sex marriage is banned and LGBTQ issues remain taboo, even though homosexuality has not been a crime there since 1997.
Founded in 2009, Grindr was once owned by Chinese online gaming specialist Kunlun Tech, which had to agree to sell it to an American firm in 2020, after pressure from the United States citing national security reasons. A federal agency feared that American users would be blackmailed if the Chinese government demanded data (sexual orientation, HIV status, etc.) from Kunlun Tech.