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Gay dating app plans listing at $1bn value

Aug 31 2019 13:47
Crystal Tse, Lulu Yilun Chen and Manuel Baigorri, Bloomberg

Blued, China's largest gay-dating app, is planning a US initial public offering that could raise about $200m, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company has been meeting potential advisers about the proposed listing, the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private.

The share sale will likely take place next year. It could value Blued at around $1bn, the people said.

Founded in 2012 by former policeman Geng Le, Blued has become an icon for the Chinese LGBT community and attracted more than $130m in venture capital as of March.

Besides providing dating services to its 40 million users, the app also offers live streaming and connects men who want to become parents with overseas surrogates. The services are part of Blued's larger strategy to diversify its business and generate revenue.

Blued has said that it has its eyes on an initial public offering - ideally in the US, which offers a simpler IPO process and deeper capital markets.

The trick for Geng will be convincing investors that he can expand his operations in a country where gay people have few legal protections and every new service pushes the frontiers of government tolerance and social acceptance.

Deliberations are at an early stage, and details of the offering could change, the people said. Blued didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The company would join Grindr, the world's biggest LGBT social networking app, in seeking a US listing.

Grindr's owner, Beijing Kunlun Tech, last month resumed preparations for the proposed IPO after an almost yearlong halt due to national-security inquiries from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.

us  |  apps  |  lgbt  |  tech


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