The Chinese gaming company that bought a majority shareholding in gay dating app Grindr last year has announced its intention to buy the remainder of the company.
In January 2016, Beijing Kunlun Tech bought a 61.5% stake in Grindr for $93million – putting a value of $155million on the business.
It has today announced that it is buying the remaining 38.5% for $152million. The unanimous decision was taken at a board of directors meeting at the Shenzhen-listed company on Monday.
Grindr was launched in 2009 by tech entrepreneur Joel Simkhai. One of the first geosocial networking sites on the market, it benefited from the explosion in smartphone use and quickly became one of the most popular dating apps for gay and bisexual men. It says it has over 2million daily users.
In recent years, it has sought to diversify, collaborating on a fashion range, photography book and online magazine.
It announced this week that it had hired former Guardian US and Out writer Zach Stafford as editor-in-chief of its online magazine.
The world’s most popular gay social network is Blued, launched by Chinese businessman Geng Le. It has over 27million registered users. The majority are in Asia, but its user-base is growing around the world following concerted marketing efforts in Europe and the US in recent months.
Last November, another popular gay app, Hornet, announced that it had successfully raised $8million (€7.6million) from Chinese investors. The money came from venture capital fund Ventech China.
GSN has approached Grindr for comment.
Main image: Supplied by Grindr (posed by models)