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Africa’s top gay dating app Grindr to go public in $2.1bn SPAC deal

Grindr said its existing shareholders would own 78% of the company after the merger, which comes two years after China's Kunlun Tech Company divested it for $620 million because of US national security concerns. Picture: Reuters

Grindr said its existing shareholders would own 78% of the company after the merger, which comes two years after China's Kunlun Tech Company divested it for $620 million because of US national security concerns. Picture: Reuters

Published May 10, 2022

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Gay dating app Grindr said on Monday it would go public through a merger with a blank-cheque acquisition firm – a deal that values it at $2.1 billion and features Tiga Investments CEO Raymond Zage on both sides of the transaction, Reuters reports.

Tiga Acquisition Corp, the Singapore-based special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that will merge with Grindr, is controlled by Zage.

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Grindr said its existing shareholders would own 78% of the company after the merger, which comes two years after China’s Kunlun Tech Co divested it for $620 million because of US national security concerns.

Under the deal, Grindr will receive $284m in cash from Tiga and up to $100m in a forward purchase agreement.

While Grindr did not disclose the identities of its existing shareholders, Reuters previously reported that Zage had a 41% stake in the consortium that acquired Grindr. A source familiar with the matter said on Monday that Zage continued to be an investor in Grindr.

Grindr is the world's largest social networking app for gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. It is also the hottest dating app in Africa, according to a 2014 study by the Mail & Guardian.

In 2020, the company released some fun facts about the app, saying that 9pm was the most active time in Africa for users to log on.

The app is most popular in Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, South Africa, Swaziland and Tunisia, with Nigeria emerging as one of the top users of the dating platform.

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