Reports: Grindr Merging with Acquisition Firm, Going Public

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday May 10, 2022
Originally published on May 10, 2022

Gay dating app Grindr is merging with an acquisition company and going public, according to political news outlet the Hill.

"In a statement on Monday, Grindr said it has merged with Tiga Acquisition Corp. (TAC), a special purpose acquisition company" that "will raise $384 million in cash proceeds, which will consist of $284 million of TAC's cash in trust plus up to $100 million in a forward purchase agreement," The Hill said.

The chair of Grindr's board of directors, James F. Lu, said that the move "furthers our mission to connect the LGBTQ+ community," BusinessWire reported.

Grindr CEO James Bonforte echoed that, saying in a statement that the company will continue on a trajectory of service to the LGBTQ+ community, the Hill reported.

"Grindr is well positioned to be a public company and will continue to expand the ways it serves the LGBTQ+ community, from products, services to the philanthropic and advocacy work done through Grindr 4 Equality," Bonforte said.

The CEO noted that "The number of people who identify as part of the queer community has increased so dramatically," Bloomberg relayed, and said "that's largely due to people feeling safer being able to embrace their identity."

Tiga "isn't offering any private investment in public equity, or PIPE, deals," Bloomberg noted, going on to say that "The business combination will provide Grindr with an estimated $384 million, which the company will use to pay down debt and strengthen its balance sheet."

Yahoo! Finance said that the company seems to be on solid ground.

"According to the company's investor presentation, Grindr had $147 million in sales in 2021 and $77 million in adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). Monthly active users clocked in at 11 million last year," Yahoo! Finance said.

"For 2022, Grindr forecast sales growth of 35% to 40% compared [to] 30% growth in 2021."

While Grindr's 11 million monthly users is small in relation to dating apps like Bumble, Hinge, and Tinder the app (the users of which are "predominantly male," Bloomberg noted) is "the leading platform focused on the LGBTQ+ community for digital connection and engagement," Bonforte said.

"We have a near ubiquitous global brand in the community we serve, impressive scale, best-in-class user engagement metrics and adjusted EBITDA margin, and we're still just beginning our monetization and growth journey," Bonforte added.

More changes are in store for the company, according to Bloomberg, with Bonforte making plans to step down as CEO later this year. The report said that "the company has identified a member of the LGBTQ+ community who has led a public company to serve in the role."

Moreover, "The board will be made up of a majority of members who are LGBTQ+, a spokesperson said."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.