One of the largest mobile gaming companies in the world now has full ownership of the world’s largest gay social network. Kunlun Group Limited closed on its purchase of the remaining stake of Grindr LLC from founder Joel Simkhai.
In January 2016, Kunlun Group, a Hong Kong-based subsidiary of the Chinese video game company Beijing Kunlun Tech Company, acquired a majority interest in Grindr when in acquired a 61.5 percent stake in the company for US$93 million, or 601.8 million yuan. In May 2017, it announced that it would acquire the remaining 38.5 percent stake in the company for US$152 million.
Joel Simkhai, the CEO and founder of Grindr, will exit the company now that the Kunlun Group has completed its acquisition of the company, and Yahui Zhou, the chairman of the board of Grindr, will serve as the interim CEO. Additionally, Grindr’s current vice-chairman Wei Zhou has been named as executive vice-chairman and CFO, and former Facebook and Instagram veteran Scott Chen will join Grindr as CTO.
“I’m beyond proud of what we’ve built as a team and how Grindr has been able to make a meaningful and lasting contribution to the global community,” said Joel Simkhai, “We have achieved our success because of the strength and global reach of our community. I look forward to Grindr and Kunlun’s continued commitment to building tolerance, equality, and respect around the world.”
“On behalf of everyone at Grindr, we would like to thank Joel for his inspiration and service as the founder of Grindr, and wish him all the best in the future,” said Yahui Zhou, “Looking forward, we are extremely excited about the excellent work Grindr is doing in becoming a leading global technology company, serving and supporting our users no matter where they are in the world.”
Founded in 2009 as a gay hookup app, Grindr currently has over 100 employees and 3.3 million daily active users in every country in the world and is the largest LGBTQ mobile social network. Recently, it has begun to grow itself into a lifestyle brand, complete with an online magazine INTO.