Grindr Names New CEO, Prepares to Go Public

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday September 15, 2022
Originally published on September 15, 2022

Hookup app Grindr announced a new CEO, George Arison, "who is scheduled to take the company public this fall with an ambitious $2.1 billion valuation," NBC News reported.

"Arison is one of few openly gay men leading a public company," according to Bloomberg.

NBC filled in his background, detailing that Arison, who "led a taxi-hailing app before he started his own company nearly a decade ago, has been on Grindr's board of directors since May."

"Arison will take over on Oct. 19 as Grindr prepares to go public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company," NBC News added. "In a statement Tuesday, Arison called Grindr, which had about 11 million monthly active users around the world last year, an 'unbelievable business.'"

Arison "will take the wheel as the app reckons in the immediate term with its role in addressing the outbreak of monkeypox," NBC said. The outlet also recalled that Grindr "has faced accusations that it negatively affects the mental health of its users, poses an exploitation risk to minors and fuels 'sexual racism.'"

Reports say that for years the app sold its users' location data. Last spring the Wall Street Journal reported that while the company did not disclose names or phone numbers, the data the company sold "were in some cases detailed enough to infer things like romantic encounters between specific users based on their device's proximity to one another, as well as identify clues to people's identities such as their workplaces and home addresses based on their patterns, habits and routines."

Such data selling practices have raised concerns lately. In one instance, online sleuths outed a Catholic priest who had been using Grindr, illustrating the potential for data tracking to uncover users.

News broke last spring that Grindr would be merging with Tiga Acquisition Corp (TAC) and gong public.

The Hill reported last May that the acquisitions company was planning to "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."

Arison sang the praises of the company he's now set to lead, saying of Grindr: "Their hard work and a laser focus on delivering great products to a starkly underserved market are inspiring, and deliver incredibly strong business results."

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.