Skip to main content

Tinder co-founders and top employees sue parent company Match Group for $2 Billion

image credit : Flickr/TechCrunch

Tinder, The successful dating app on pace to earn $800 million in revenues this year has seen quite a bit of action as its co-founders and top executives are suing the parent company, Internet conglomerate Match Group over allegations that it cheated them out of billions of dollars worth of stock options by "manipulating financial information, undermining Tinder’s valuation, and unlawfully stripping away their Tinder stock options."

The plaintiffs involved in this lawsuit include Tinder co-founders Sean Rad, Justin Mateen, and Jonathan Badeen, Three of its current executives with the rest being former executives and directors.

They accuse IAC/InterActiveCorp and its and its Match Group subsidiary of stealing billions of dollars from its employees by making use of "deception, bullying, and outright lies" lowering Tinder's value when dishing out options to them.

As per the lawsuit, Written contracts between IAC and Tinder's employees required the service to be valued on four specific future dates in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021 when they would be given the chance to cash out stock options by selling them to its parent company. But instead, IAC merged Tinder with the Match Group in 2017 which is alleged to have undervalued it with its co-founders and employees receiving fewer and less valuable stock options.





Tinder which stands as one of Match's most known and profitable brands was valued at $3 Billion after Match Group converted options last year with the lawsuit stating that IAC continued to value Tinder at that amount 2 years prior to the time options were converted despite increase in revenue in addition to accusing IAC of threatening to fire employees if they revealed Tinder's true value.

The $800 million IAC projected for Tinder's revenue this year is alleged to be 75% more than "bogus" projections created by the parent company last year.

“We were always concerned about IAC’s reputation for ignoring their contractual commitments and acting like the rules don’t apply to them. But we never imagined the lengths they would go to cheat all the people who built Tinder. The Tinder team – especially the plaintiffs who are currently senior leaders at the company – have shown tremendous strength in exposing IAC/Match’s systematic violation of employees’ rights,” said Sean Rad, Tinder’s co-founder and first CEO.

Also noted in the lawsuit is an accusation against then interim CEO Greg Blatt of groping and sexually harassing Tinder VP of marketing Rosette Pambakian during and after a 2016 holiday party alleging that "IAC/Match covered up the reported misconduct because the Chairman/CEO was leading the effort to rob Tinder’s employees of their contractually guaranteed compensation."

In defense, IAC has said that the valuation for Tinder occurred under a "rigorous, contractually-defined" process stating that the plaintiffs "did not like the outcome" while noting that it has paid out more than $1 Billion in equity compensation to its co-founders and employees.

"We look forward to defending our position in court" said the media and internet conglomerate IAC.


Comments

Most Read Posts

MicroStrategy Bets Big On Bitcoin

MicroStrategy, a publicly-traded billion-dollar business intelligence company, has adopted cryptocurrency Bitcoin as a major store of fiat value, with the company having allocated a major part of its cash position to Bitcoin. MicroStrategy recently purchased 16,796 Bitcoins for an aggregate price of $175 million, after having previously bought $250 million worth of Bitcoins. The company disclosed its purchase of $175 million worth of Bitcoins on the 14th of September, 2020, after having previously disclosed the purchase of $250 million worth of Bitcoins on the 11th of August, 2020. It's such that MicroStrategy has bet a total of $425 million on Bitcoin, an amount that represents 80% of the company's cash balance sheet as indicated by its most recently released quarterly results. A sizeable portion of MicroStrategy's balance sheet is now made up of Bitcoin, making it one of the rare big companies and more so a publicly traded one to make such a move.Cryptocurrency is usuall…

Airbus Debuts Zero-Carbon Plane Concepts

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has unveiled three concepts of zero-emission commercial aircraft that it says could enter into use by 2035. The three zero-emission concepts, with a general codename "ZEROe", include a turbofan engine design, a turboprop engine design, and a “blended-wing body” design. The turbofan design is made to fit between 120-200 passengers, the turboprop for up to 100 passengers, and the “blended-wing body” for up to 200 passengers. Airbus is debuting these concepts as part of efforts to tackle environmental pollution, given that planes although necessary for quick and easy global movement are one of the biggest environmental polluters worldwide. Airbus has given a timeline of 15 years from now that these concepts could be put into service, but being a concept, there's no guarantee that'll they eventually be adopted.ZEROe turbofan:
This design, with a turbofan engine, is made to fit between 120 to 200 air passengers and with a range of 2,000+ nautic…

Big-Name Investors Pile On Cloud Paper

Cloud Paper, a Seattle-based startup whose core product is toilet paper made from bamboo, has raised $3 million in seed funding from a host of investors led by venture capital firm Greycroft. Along with Greycroft, investors who participated in the seed round include; Salesforce founder Marc Benioff, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, music star Ciara, Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi, movie stars Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow, Riot Games founder Marc Merill, and NFL Quarterback Russell Wilson. Cloud Paper says it'll use the new funding to further its business and expand into other tree-free product areas. Toilet paper is conventionally made from materials cut down from trees. In fact, it's estimated that humans use the equivalent of 270,000 trees worth of toilet paper each day. Cloud Paper, with a goal of tackling deforestation, is now providing an alternative in the form of toilet paper made from soft bamboo. Although bamboo itself is a plant, it typically g…

Richard Branson Eyes $400 Million SPAC

Famed entrepreneur and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson is apparently looking into yet another business foray, this time looking to launch a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) named VG Acquisition Corp. VG Acquisition Corp has already put out a formal press release indicating its plans of raising $400 million by offering 40 million units of shares for $10 each. The special purpose acquisition company or blank-check company as they're fondly called is seeking to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "VGAC", with a formal filing already submitted with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC).Richard Branson, a successful long-time entrepreneur, isn't quite new to SPACs, having merged his aerospace company Virgin Galactic with one last year. Virgin Galactic successfully merged with Social Capital Hedosophia in October of last year and got $450 million to fund its operations in the process. The aerospace company began trading with an …

Social Capital Eyes $2 Billion SPACs

Social Capital Hedosophia, an investment venture led by venture capitalists Chamath Palihapitiya and Ian Osborne, has submitted formal filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission that makes note of the firm's intention to launch three new special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) that'll collectively raise $2 billion from investors. Before now, Social Capital Hedosophia had successfully launched three publicly-traded SPACs, and now furthermore intends to launch a fourth, fifth, and sixth that's targeted to raise $350 million, $650 million, and $1 billion respectively. Social Capital has courted a trio of technology luminaries to serve as independent directors for the new SPACs, with Nextdoor co-founder Nirav Tolia serving as director for the fourth while Facebook engineering VP Jay Parikh and former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo serve as directors for the fifth and sixth.Social Capital Hedosophia launched its first SPAC, or blank-check company as it's fond…

WM Motor Bags $1.5 Billion

WM Motor, a Chinese electric vehicle upstart, has said that it's raised 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in its latest financing round to further its operations. Among investors who provided the new funding include Chinese tech giant Baidu; SIG Ventures, a US-based venture capital firm; SAIC Motor, a Chinese state-owned automobile manufacturer; along with investment firms backed by the Chinese government. The new funding boosts the total amount of financing that WM Motor has raised since its inception to over $3 billion, on pair with the size of funding that other Chinese electric vehicle counterparts such as Xpeng, Nio, and Li Auto have raised both on the private and public markets.As of late, there seems to be enthusiasm for Chinese electric car makers, with two of such carmakers, Xpeng and Li Auto, having held recent successful public listings in the US. Xpeng's public listing raised $1.5 billion for its operations while that of Li Auto raised $1.1 billion for its operations.…

Berkshire Makes Bank On Snowflake IPO

Berkshire Hathaway, the investment conglomerate led by famed investor Warren Buffett, has apparently made bank on its recent bet on cloud computing company Snowflake. On the cusp of Snowflake's IPO, Berkshire reached a deal to purchase 2 million shares in the company along with another 4 million shares from an existing stockholder. Snowflake made its public market debut yesterday at an opening price of $120-per-share, implying Berkshire's total 6 million share purchase cost it roughly $720 million. Snowflake raised $3.4 billion on its public market debut, marking the biggest software IPO ever measured by how much the company raised from investors. It's such that investors are apparently very optimistic about Snowflake, with the company's share price yesterday doubling from $120 to about $254 at market close. By that calculation, the value of the 6 million shares held by Berkshire now amount to over $1.5 billion, implying a roughly $800 million profit for Berkshire'…

The Chainsmokers Close Debut VC Fund

Popular electronic music duo The Chainsmokers, consisting of band members Alexander Pall and Andrew Taggart, have secured $35 million in capital commitments for their debut venture capital fund named Mantis. Among investors who committed to the new fund include luminary venture capitalists Ron Conway, Keith Rabois, and Mark Cuban as well as private equity billionaire James Coulter. The Chainsmokers share management of the venture capital fund with two day-to-day general partners by the name of Milan Koch, an investor who previously worked at seed-stage fund Base Ventures, and Jeffrey Evans, a record label founder and business acquaintance of The Chainsmokers. Not long ago, Mantis made one of its first investments ever in LoanSnap, a San Francisco-based lending startup which it chipped into a $10 million funding round for. Even before the formation of Mantis, The Chainsmokers had been individual angel investors, backing upstarts including Ember Technologies, a maker of temperature-cont…

Bridgewater Buys Into Nio

Bridgewater Associates, the world's biggest hedge fund, has made a relatively small investment in NIO, the Chinese electric carmaker. Recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission  (SEC) indicate that Bridgewater holds 856,026 NIO American depositary shares worth over $16 million at NIO's current (as of writing) share price. According to an SEC filing dated last month, Bridgewater held the same number of shares in NIO but at the time worth roughly $6.6 million. NIO has recently soared on the heels of a $1.5 billion secondary fundraise by the company, clinching a profit of more than $10 million for Bridgewater in the process. Although that profit figure seems bountiful, it pales in comparison to Bridgewater as a whole, being a hedge fund with well over $100 billion in assets under management.Bridgewater isn't exactly new to the electric vehicle industry, having previously bought a sizeable stake in Tesla, the biggest of any electric car company by market …

Chime Bags $485 Million

Corroborating a recent report of Chime, the digital banking upstart, looking to raise more funding at a valuation of between $12 billion to $15 billion, Chime has been reported to have bagged $485 million in Series F funding at a valuation of $14.5 billion, with CNBC the first to report on the company's fundraising. It was only 18 months ago that Chime raised funding at a valuation of $1.5 billion, implying an impressive 900% valuation jump with the company's new Series F funding. More impressive is the fact that Chime was founded only seven years ago and has apparently vaulted into the position of the most valuable consumer fintech upstart in the US, surpassing investment app Robinhood which was valued at $11.2 billion from its most recent financing round. In the overall US fintech market, Chime's valuation is only beaten by payments company Stripe.With Chime's new funding, the San Francisco-based company has now raised a total of roughly $2 billion in funding since i…