Grindr Hires Co-Founders of Social Discovery App Athena

Dating app Grindr has hired the co-founders of Athena, a fitness-focused social discovery app that soft-launched in January of 2023. Reports suggest that this move is part of Grindr’s widening focus, including the interests of fitness & travel.

Athena’s CEO & Co-Founder AJ Wolf will be joining Grindr as a Senior Manager in Product Finance. Its other Co-Founder and tech lead, Max Roche, will work at Grindr as a Senior iOS Engineer.

In a new post on LinkedIn George Arison, Grindr’s CEO, confirmed the appointments, explaining:

“Grindr is becoming more than a hub for connection. We continue to expand the offering with optimized travel planning, and even where to access essential health services, which is why I’m excited to have AJ Wolf and Max Roche from Athena, bring a wealth of experience in cutting-edge technology integration to the platform. Their expertise will play a pivotal role as we continue to innovate and enhance the Grindr experience”

Athena is a social discovery platform dedicated to health & wellness, bringing together people who are passionate about physical activities and wellbeing. AJ Wolf spoke with Global Dating Insights & Social Discovery Insights in April 2023 about the platform’s origins & development

While AJ Wolf’s LinkedIn states that Athena is now “Merged with Grindr”, Axios reports that Grindr has not acquired any of Athena’s assets during this process.

So what does this tell us?

Axios highlighted statements from George Arison, CEO of Grindr, which suggest that the platform is looking at expanding its services in the fields of travel & health. 

Additionally, Arison is quoted as saying “[Athena’s] engagement with users was really good” and that “what Grindr has to do in the future is maintain the really great engagement that we have”.

The Axios report summarises that Grindr is open to doing small deals to acquire talent or interesting tech it can integrate into its app”.

This would make sense following Arison’s mission statement for Grindr, which is to become “the global gayborhood in your pocket”. Over the past 12 months, the LGBTQ+ platform has increasingly discussed how it can widen its services beyond dating & hookups.

There were numerous reports in 2023 about how Grindr was being adopted for professional networking, and it seems that the platform is continuing to expand into new territories, with health & fitness as one of them.

Read the full report from Axios here.

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