Legal

Grindr Moves Forward With IPO Plans After U.S. Government Drops Opposition

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Gay dating app Grindr is headed towards an IPO again, now that the U.S. national security panel CFIUS has dropped its opposition.

Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech purchased Grindr fully in 2018, but the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. found this problematic and forced Beijing Kunlun to sell the app by June 2020. According to a report from CNBC, a source familiar with the situation said the efforts to sell Grindr by the deadline were continuing, even as plans for the IPO were moving forward.

Tinder Launches New Safety Feature for LGBTQ Travelers

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Tinder Travel Alert Screen Capture
Image: Tinder

Tinder has announced a new safety feature for those in the LGBTQ community who are traveling abroad.

The new “Traveler Alert” feature allows users to hide their profiles on the app when they feel unsafe traveling in countries and regions that criminalize same-sex acts, according to website Lifehacker. International travelers are subject to the laws of other countries, so it puts LGBTQ folks especially at risk. There are currently 69 countries that persecute same-sex acts, and nine of these allow the death penalty to be imposed, including Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Tinder’s website stated: “It’s important to exercise extra caution if you choose to connect with new people in these countries - as some law enforcement have been known to use dating apps as tools for potential entrapment. Some countries have also recently introduced laws that criminalize communications between individuals on same-sex dating applications or websites and even aggravate penalties if that communication leads to sexual encounters.”

Bumble CEO Speaks Out Against Toxic Culture of Parent Company Badoo

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Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe
Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe

Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd spoke out against parent company Badoo in the wake of allegations made by more than a dozen employees that it promoted a toxic work culture, especially for women.

An exclusive by Forbes revealed allegations made by thirteen former Badoo employees who worked at the company’s London headquarters, citing a sexist office culture with drug-fueled parties, employees naming engineering updates after porn stars, and a widely circulated video of an employee receiving oral sex from a prostitute.

Forbes also said the employees specifically named Badoo owner Andrey Andreev, who also owns a majority stake in Bumble, of making derogatory comments around race and physical appearance.

Scruff Owners Complete Acquisition Of Jack’d For Undisclosed Amount

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Scruff Aquires Jack'd

Scruff’s parent company, Perry Street Software, has acquired Jack’d in a deal that is expected to make it the largest fully LGBTQ owned-and-operated software company by both revenue and membership. Jack’d will continue to operate as a standalone app.

“For years, we have admired the diverse and global community on Jack’d. Since its launch in 2010, Jack’d has grown to more than 5 million members worldwide,” said Eric Silverberg, CEO of Perry Street Software. “This acquisition will provide Jack’d members with the same combination of technology and active moderation we have developed at Scruff, so that the Jack’d community members will be protected against harassment, spam bots, scammers, and risks while traveling.”

Tinder Co-Founder’s Lawsuit Against IAC Moves Closer To Trial After Motion To Dismiss Is Denied

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The dating industry’s trial of the century is one step closer to taking place. Tinder co-founder Sean Rad’s $2 billion lawsuit against the dating app’s parent company, IAC, can move forward after a New York Supreme Court judge rejected IAC’s motion to dismiss the case. Rad and his co-plaintiffs may pursue their allegations that IAC purposely undervalued Tinder to avoid paying out billions of dollars in stock options to the dating app’s original team.

“We are pleased by the court's ruling denying IAC/Match's motion to dismiss and paving the way for this case to go to trial,'' Orin Snyder, Rad's lawyer, said in a statement. “IAC/Match robbed the Tinder founders and early employees and will now be held accountable by a jury for their multi-billion dollar scheme.”

Justine Sacco, a spokesperson for Match Group, also issued a statement: “This baseless lawsuit has no more merit today than it did a year ago when it was filed. We’re pleased the court dismissed some of these bogus claims and look forward to defeating the rest of them, both on appeal and in the trial court.”

Man Pleads Guilty to Sending Threatening Letters to OkCupid HQ

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In late June, a Massachusetts man pleaded guilty to sending threatening letters to OkCupid’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas, in retaliation for banning him from the dating app.

According to a report in The New York Post, Liam MacLeod was banned from the app for repeatedly violating the terms of service back in 2017. The 47 year-old man then began sending threatening letters, some with a “blood-like substance” according to The Post, and others with a “suspicious white powder.” All of the mailings were addressed to OkCupid’s Chief Executive Officer.