Grindr, the social network for gay men, has sold a majority 60 percent stake to Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech for $93 million. The deal, which values six-year-old Grindr at $155 million, is the first time that the U.S. company has taken outside investment.
The New York Times reported that Grindr has two million daily users, who spend an average of 54 minutes inside the app. Those are impressive engagement rates, and the company is reported to have generated $32 million in revenue in 2014, up from $25 million one year previous.
Grindr founder and CEO Joel Simkhai described the investment as “a huge vote of confidence in our vision to connect gay men to even more of the world around them,” but stressed that it would be “business as usual” despite the influx of capital.
Simkhai and Grindr’s employees retain the remaining shares in the company, and expect that the alliance will allow the service — which has become the de facto hook-up app for gay men — to expand into new areas.
“We have taken this investment in our company to accelerate our growth, to allow us to expand our services for you, and to continue to ensure that we make Grindr the number one app and brand for our millions of users,” Simkhai wrote in a company blog post.
“We have users in every country in the world, but in order to get to the next phase of our business and grow faster, we needed a partner,” Carter McJunkin, Grindr’s COO, added via an interview with the New York Times.
The deal will also allow Beijing Kunlun Tech to expand its own reach outside of China. The company, which is listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange in China, has been busy diversifying and expanding its business. It recently invested $27 million in micro-loan company Qufenqi, and $15 million in fresh produce e-tailer 1Mxian.
It’s unclear whether this latest investment will see Beijing Kunlun tech will bring Grindr to China, where an app called Blued is the top dating service for gay men with a reported two million members.