Tinder
Justin Mateen

Tinder And IAC Settle Sexual Harassment Suit With Early Employee Whitney Wolfe

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Mobile dating company Tinder has settled a lawsuit with early employee Whitney Wolfe, who claimed sexual harassment and sexual discrimination on the part of former CMO Justin Mateen. The settlement puts to bed an ugly “he said, she said” conflict that has loomed over the ultra-hot subsidiary of IAC since June.

A spokesman for IAC said that “the lawsuit was settled with no admission of wrong doing.”

The settlement was first reported by Buzzfeed, which confirmed the lawsuit had been dropped through an email with John Mullan, a partner at Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, LLP, the firm which represented Wolfe.

Wolfe filed the complaint alleging that Mateen had subjected her to numerous “sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails, and text messages” during her time at the company. It also claimed her title of co-founder had been removed by CEO Sean Rad, who ignored her complaints about Mateen and subsequently fired her after she offered to resign “in consideration for modest severance and the vesting of her stock.”

The lawsuit included as evidence a number of damning text messages sent by Mateen, which led to his suspension. Meanwhile, Rad continues to serve as CEO.

A source close to the matter confirmed that Justin Mateen is no longer with the company.

Update: Here’s an official statement from Wolfe’s legal counsel:

Whitney’s lawsuit against Tinder has been resolved without admission of wrongdoing. She is proud of the work she did as a co-founder of Tinder, which contributed so much to the growth of the app. She is now going to focus her energy and talents on some exciting new projects.

This lawsuit comes as one of the only obstacles the company has had since its inception. The company has grown to see more than a billion swipes per day, with over 12 million matches each day. Though the company has yet to reveal user figures, Barclays expects that daily actives will top 20 million by April.

Despite the lawsuit drama, Tinder is rumored to be valued north of $1 billion, and that’s without any revenue plan thus far.
A representative at Tinder declined to comment on the settlement. A call to Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, LLP was not immediately returned.