China’s Kunlun says US panel approves sale of Grindr to investor group

Photo: Reuters

Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd said on Friday that a U.S. national security panel approved the $620 million sale of popular gay dating app Grindr to an investor group called San Vicente Acquisition LLC.

The panel, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), ordered Kunlun last year to divest Grindr amid concerns regarding the safety of the personal data it handles, such as users’ private messages and HIV status.

A Treasury spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on behalf of CFIUS.

Kunlun has not disclosed the identity of the investors behind San Vicente. It has said only that the group comprises seasoned investors that include one or more U.S. entrepreneurs.

“We are pleased that all approvals for the sale of Grindr have been received and look forward to the close of the transaction in the days ahead,” Grindr said in a statement.

Based in West Hollywood, California, Grindr has several million daily active users and describes itself as the world’s largest social networking app for gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.

Kunlun is one of China’s largest mobile gaming companies. It acquired a majority stake in Grindr in 2016 for $93 million and bought out the remainder of the company in 2018. It did so without submitting the transactions for CFIUS review.

CFIUS’ subsequent intervention in the Grindr deal underscored its focus on the safety of personal data after it blocked the acquisitions of U.S. money transfer company MoneyGram International Inc and mobile marketing firm AppLovin by Chinese bidders.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.