Tinder’s Head of Product Resigns

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Brian Norgard, who has reigned as Tinder’s chief of product the past two years, announced his resignation.

According to website Tech Crunch, Norgard says he is exiting on a positive note and plans to get back to his entrepreneurial roots. Before he joined Tinder, he founded startup messaging app Tappy, which was acquired in 2014, along with Facebook messaging app Chill, another successful startup with 30 million users. When Norgard first joined Tinder, he was head of revenue and moved on to his chief of product role.

Norgard cites Keith Rabois of PayPal as his inspiration for leaving to pursue something new.

“It’s been a great ride but my strength has always been in the early-stage game,” Norgard told TechCrunch. “What I’m trying to do now is take all the learnings from that wonderful experience and bring them into my investing.”

His exit comes at an interesting time in the online dating industry, where big changes are on the horizon. Facebook recently announced its entry into the online dating market and is testing its new feature among users in Colombia, Canada and Thailand. Match Group has been aggressively acquiring dating apps in recent years to compete with Facebook head-on, including Tinder, Hinge and OkCupid among others. Analysts have looked favorably upon the online dating industry and Match Group in particular, considering its better-than-expected year-over-year growth in revenue, thanks in large part to subscriptions for Tinder Gold.

Still, Match Group has been embroiled in controversy despite its success. The company was sued recently by Tinder’s former employees for devaluing their stock options, and Match Group is currently in legal battle with Bumble as well after acquisition talks with the popular female-friendly app fell through.

Norgard however says he is leaving on good terms with the company and is on to his next project. He has already signed on to invest in a cryptocurrency mining startup called CoinMine, which launched in mid-November.

“There are a lot of parallels I draw from Coinmine and Tinder,” Norgard told Tech Crunch. “Online dating was very complicated six years ago. It was an arduous process and so is mining. You have to be pretty sophisticated, but this takes it down to the studs.”

The technology behind cryptocurrency is blockchain, which in theory provides more of a check on user privacy, which is particularly appealing to dating app users. Recently, it was discovered that shady data brokers were selling online dating profiles of millions of users, and Facebook has been struggling with privacy issues the past few years. Blockchain could be a way of better protecting user data and privacy.

Norgard has not mentioned any other investments he plans to make.