Popular gay dating application Grindr said it has hooked up with Chinese online game titan Beijing Kunlun Tech.
Grindr said in a blog post on Monday that it has taken on a “majority investment” from Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., referring readers to a New York Times story pegging the stake at 60 percent and valuing the almost seven-year-old start-up at $155 million.
It should help Grindr compete in the increasingly competitive online dating market, and will give Beijing Kunlun an opening to spread beyond online gaming, as well as outside of China.
It was not immediately clear whether Beijing Kunlun intends to take Grindr to the market in China, where attitudes towards homosexuality — long taboo in the country — are slowly changing.
Grindr founder and chief executive Joel Simkhai touted the investment as “a huge vote of confidence in our vision to connect gay men to even more of the world around them.”
Grindr opened the door for the investment to accelerate growth and improve the mobile application for its “millions of users,” according to Simkhai.
The amount invested was not disclosed. Simkhai founded Grindr with his own money and he said that this is the first time it has raised money from an outside investor.
“It will generally be business as usual for us here at Grindr, but with a renewed sense of purpose and additional resources to deliver a great product to you,” Simkhai said.
Los Angeles-based Grindr was founded in 2009 and the gay dating application — versions of which are tailored for Apple or Android devices — is reportedly used in 196 countries.
The application lets users see pictures of other users and then lets them connect by sharing locations, photos or messages.