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Queer dating app Grindr is planning to go public by merging with a Singapore-based blank-check company in a deal that would value the company at roughly $2.1 billion.
West Hollywood-based Grindr said Monday that it has agreed to merge with Tiga Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Grindr plans to raise at least $384 million from the transaction, with plans to use the funds to pay down debt and further grow its business.
Since launching in 2009, Grindr has grown to around 11 million monthly active users globally, roughly 80% of whom are under 35 years old. The app, which is free to download on iOS and Android devices, has emerged as the queer community’s most popular answer to the Match Group-owned Tinder, which caters primarily to straight singles. Grindr does compete with other queer dating apps including HER, mainly used by lesbian women; Lex, for queer users; and Feeld, an app for polyamorous connections.
Grindr said it generated $147 million in revenue last year, a 30% increase from the year prior. That revenue growth was fueled by an increase in the number of users paying for the app’s premium subscription, which totaled 723,000 at the end of 2021—up 31.5% year-on-year.
Grindr is pursuing a SPAC merger despite a sharp slowdown in SPAC deals amid heightened regulatory scrutiny, as well as a wider stock market correction that has pumped the brakes on IPO deal volume this year. Still, SPAC deals remain a quicker way for companies to list on public markets by side-stepping much of the regulatory red tape around traditional IPOs.
The app recently came under fire after a Wall Street Journal article exposed Grindr’s years-long practice of selling users’ precise location data to the highest bidder—a practice that runs the risk of outing some users’ sexuality and compromising their safety. The company countered the report by claiming it had implemented new privacy policies to prevent the sharing of “precise location” data.
Rivian shares continued their downward slide Monday after stockholder Ford Motor Company announced that it is dumping 8 million shares in the Irvine-based electric truckmaker.
Over the weekend, it emerged that the Detroit auto giant plans to reduce its position in Rivian, which totaled 102 million shares, after it was released from a six-month lockup period in the wake of Rivian’s November initial public offering.
In turn, Rivian’s stock started the week’s trading by continuing its months-long decline, shedding another 21% on Monday and retreating ever further from the autumn highs that briefly made it one of the world’s most valuable automakers. The company’s shares closed at $22.78, on a day when the tech-heavy Nasdaq exchange it trades on fell 4.3% amid an ongoing stock market selloff.
To be clear, Ford’s retreat doesn’t mean it is bailing on its Rivian investment entirely; the Detroit automaker still owns 94 million shares in Rivian and, alongside Amazon, remains one of the largest investors in the electric truck and SUV manufacturer. But it does see a major Rivian backer limiting its exposure to the stock in the face of production setbacks and vehicle price hikes brought about by rising costs and supply chain woes.
Despite those setbacks, Rivian announced last week that it had secured $1.5 million in tax incentives to begin construction on a new auto plant in Georgia that is expected to add 400,000 vehicles to its annual production capacity. If the company can achieve anywhere close to that level of production in the next five years, Rivian could finally prove a real rival to Tesla and other EV competitors.
Rivian is set to release its first-quarter earnings report on Wednesday. Should the company’s performance meet or exceed expectations, it could help stem its stock’s downward momentum and calm the nerves of jittery investors; if not, Ford’s decision could be a harbinger of things to come.
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Venture capitalists are banking on the return of group workout classes and personal training.
Xponential Fitness Inc., the boutique fitness brand behind workout studios like Rumble and Pure Barre, has filed paperwork for an IPO.
The Irvine-based company announced that it's going public on Monday and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol XPOF.
The company, which listed its placeholder offering at $100 million. had been making plans to offer an initial public offering a year ago. But it was reportedly forced to put off those plans as the COVID crisis struck, forcing gyms across the world to shut down.
Bank of America Corp., Jefferies and Morgan Stanley are leading the deal. Pricing terms were not disclosed, but a Bloomberg report from April, citing unnamed sources, said it will be valued at close to $1.3 billion.
The company declined to comment on the company's IPO or Bloomberg's previous report.
Xponential pitches itself as the country's "largest boutique fitness franchisor." Since its founding in 2017, the company has built and acquired nine studios in 48 states and 10 countries outside the U.S., according to a statement announcing the IPO. As of March 2021, it operated 1,775 storefront locations, according to SEC paperwork.
The company acquired its first two workout brands in September 2017 and has since nabbed franchise partners including CycleBar, Stride and most recently, the boxing brand Rumble. Those acquisitions gave it access to training studio instructors and enabled the company to provide brands with marketing and tech support.
As vaccination rates pick up — and states ease restrictions on gyms and other indoor venues — the company predicts consumers will return to boutique, in-person fitness classes in the second half of 2021.
The pandemic stunted indoor workout companies across the nation. But as consumers stayed home to exercise, home gym equipment sales soared, according to Pitchbook data. Most VC investment in 2020 was driven by these at-home fitness products and technology like cycling bikes and activity-tracking wearables also hit a stride.
Xponential followed the trend, launching a digital platform and streaming free workouts on Facebook and Instagram. The company lost revenue but continued to open new studios and sell franchise licenses.
The global physical activity economy — the market including fitness tech and equipment among other categories — is expected to hit $1.1 trillion by 2023, according to a recent report from Pitchbook.