Grindr, a dating app valued at $ 620 million, approved for small business loan

FILE PHOTO: The Grindr app is seen on a cell phone in this photo illustration taken in Shanghai, China March 28, 2019. REUTERS / Aly Song / Illustration

(Reuters) – Grindr, the gay dating app valued at $ 620 million when it was recently sold by its Chinese owner, has been approved for a $ 1 million to $ 2 million loan for small businesses suffering from the coronavirus epidemic, according to official US data released on Monday.

Chinese firm Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd sold West Hollywood, Calif.-Based Grindr last month to a group of investors called San Vicente Acquisition LLC, after the U.S. government ordered the divestiture over concerns about the security of personal data stored in the application.

Grindr generated a net profit of around $ 31 million in 2019, according to Kunlun’s annual report.

“It’s a company that has a turnover of over $ 100 million (annually). It’s very profitable and growing quickly, ”Grindr COO Rick Marini told the Los Angeles Times in an interview last week.

As part of the loan application, companies had to certify in good faith that “the current economic uncertainty makes this loan necessary to support” their current operations. A Grindr spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why the company requested the loan and whether it received and used it.

Help under the Paycheck Protection Program enables small businesses affected by the pandemic to apply for a government-guaranteed forgivable loan from a lender.

In the race to distribute funds, the program has been beset by technological glitches, documentation glitches, and revelations that some lenders are prioritizing their most profitable clients, leading some wealthy companies to receive funds while less wealthy borrowers ran out.

Grindr has retained 69 jobs following his candidacy, according to data released Monday by the US Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration.

Echo Wang report in New York; Editing by Greg Roumeliotis and Tom Brown

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