Chinese firm buys stake in gay dating app Grindr

  • 12 January 2016
  • From the section Business
Grindr founder and chief executive Joel Simkhai Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Grindr was founded by Joel Simkhai in 2009 and operates in 196 countries

Chinese firm Beijing Kunlun Tech has bought a controlling stake in Grindr, the world's biggest gay social networking app, for $93m (£64m).

The games developer made the announcement of the deal to buy a 60% stake in the US-based app in a filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange.

Its chairman Zhou Yahui became a billionaire last year after the Chinese firm listed its shares.

Grindr has grown rapidly since 2009 and now operates in 196 countries.

The company's remaining shares will continue to be owned by its founder and chief executive Joel Simkhai and employees.

"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," Mr Simkhai said in a blog post on Tuesday.

"We have taken this investment in our company to accelerate our growth, to allow us to expand our services for you."

The Los Angeles based app hosts two million visitors a day and matches users based on their photos and location.

The acquisition in the latest in a series of deals for Beijing Kunlun Tech. Last year, it bought a stake in British mortgage lender LendInvest.

The firm has not specified whether it plans to introduce the app in China, where gay people say they still face widespread social discrimination.

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