Grindr has unveiled the identity of its new owners after San Vicente Acquisition’s $620 million takeover was completed. Jeff Bonforte, Rick Marini, and Gary Hsueh will act as the gay dating app’s CEO, COO and CFO, respectively.
Bonforte and Marini recently took part in an interview with LGBTQ magazine The Advocate, to discuss the deal, Grindr’s history, and how they plan to restore parts of its damaged reputation.
The first priority appears to be a complete review of user safety and security, which will focus on how private information is stored. Grindr was caught sharing the HIV statuses of its users with third-party advertisers in 2018, and has been accused of several similar offences in the past.
Secondly, the new owners want to develop new features that will harness a sense of community. This is an avenue that many dating apps are exploring in an attempt to retain users who find romantic relationships.
However, Bonforte promised that there wouldn’t be any major changes made to Grindr’s core product.
Finally, they will work on the company’s internal culture and look to hire people from the LGBTQ community to work at every level of the ladder.
Bonforte and Marini are both heterosexual and Grindr has drawn criticism in the past for having an executive board with a limited number of LGBTQ members. Most notably, when former President Scott Chen appeared to oppose same-sex marriage in a Facebook post.
The pair do consider themselves to be allies, and have a history of marching in Pride parades and raising funds for LGBTQ organisations. They hope to continue their activism during their time with Grindr.
Marini finished the interview with The Advocate by stating: “I really want this to be a positive place for everyone, not just the good-looking people that already have an easy enough time in society.
“It’s got to work for everyone. Love is love. So we’re going to be working on that for sure.”
Read the full interview here.