Grindr LLC named a former Walt Disney Co.
Executive as the next chief financial officer as the company behind the dating app plans to go public later this year through a combination with a special purpose acquisition company.
Los Angeles-based Grindr, which specializes in bringing together gay, bisexual, transgender and queer users, said Tuesday Vanna Krantz would become CFO effective September 26. Current Chief Financial Officer Gary Hsueh is stepping down and will assume an advisory role. said Grindr.
Grindr also appointed a new chief executive officer. George Arison, founder of online car marketplace Shift Technologies inc,
succeeds Jeff Bonforte, who will step down as chief executive after more than two years in that position. Mr. Bonforte will also remain in an advisory role. Mr. Arison has been on the Grindr board of directors since May.
Ms. Krantz joins Grindr, a transportation software and payments company, from Passport Labs Inc., where she has led finance since August 2021. Prior to her time at Passport Labs, Ms. Krantz was Chief Financial Officer at Yanka Industries Inc., a streaming learning platform that serves as a MasterClass, and at Disney Streaming Services, Disney‘s
Grindr announced in May its plans to go public via a SPAC deal that includes merging with blank check company Tiga Acquisition corp
The $2.1 billion transaction is expected to bring Grindr approximately $384 million in proceeds, which the company says it would use to strengthen its balance sheet and pay down debt. SPAC activity hit a five-year low in July as shares of companies that went public in this way plummeted.
Grindr has fewer users than other dating apps, including Match Group inc
and bumblebee inc
Match reported an average of 16.4 million paid monthly users across its apps, including Tinder and Hinge, for the second quarter, while Bumble had more than 3 million paid monthly users across its apps at the end of June. Meanwhile, 13-year-old Grindr, which offers a free service but charges fees for updates, had around 723,000 paying users in December 2021, the latest figures the company will share, up 31.5% year-on-year.
Grindr’s 2021 revenue of $145.8 million was up about 40% compared to the same period last year. Net income rose to $5.1 million last year from a loss of about $13.1 million a year earlier, according to a May regulatory filing related to the SPAC deal.
Grindr plans to join the public markets as dating apps show resilience despite the current economic uncertainties, said Shweta Khajuria, an internet analyst at investment banking consultancy Evercore inc
According to Ms Khajuria, who covers both Match and Bumble, this is because of the pent-up demand for in-person relationships resulting from the pandemic. The dating app consumer isn’t as sensitive to price changes as other consumers, she said, adding that with the apps priced between about $12 and $30 a month, this isn’t the first place after a budget cut wanted, she said.
“Match and Bumble are not immune to consumer headwinds,” Ms Khajuria said. “But one thing in their favor is the subscription business model and the resilience of that model during a recession.”
Most of Grindr’s revenue, around 80%, comes from subscriptions, while a smaller portion comes from advertising revenue. The Wall Street Journal reported in May that a digital advertising network had been collecting and selling Grindr users’ locations for years. Grindr has shared less information with advertising partners since early 2020, the company said, adding that the data-sharing practices reported by the journal would not be possible under current privacy practices.
A Norwegian regulator last year fined Grindr 65 million kroner, or about $6.6 million, after finding the company had illegally shared user data with advertisers. Grindr appealed the decision in February.
Ms Krantz said she would be looking at areas to further monetize Grindr’s business, but declined to give details. She said she will also focus on taking the company public. Ms. Krantz gained experience of SPAC transactions as a board member and current audit chair at mobile gaming company Skillz inc,
which went public via a SPAC at the end of 2020.
Once Grindr is public, key business data, financial projections and subscriber counts will be examined more closely, she said. As for the latter of the three, Ms. Krantz said she drew on her time at Disney,
where it was “extremely important” to be as accurate as possible on those numbers as they drove the stock price. “I think I’m really well positioned to do that … So I’m pretty confident that we can reconcile that if we haven’t already,” she said.
write to Jennifer Williams-Alvarez at [email protected]
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