Apr 2, 2024 - Business

Exclusive: Grindr hires fitness app founders as it moves beyond dating

Illustration of George Washington with dating phrases

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

LGBTQ+ dating app Grindr has hired the founders of Athena, a 2-year-old fitness community app.

Why it matters: Grindr aims to expand its app features into areas like travel and health, according to CEO George Arison.

The big picture: Grindr is known as a tool for finding nearby dates, but its users have been using it for other social connections, says Arison.

  • "Travel, we feel, is included in our core use cases, and then there's extensions — one I'm really interested in is health," he says, adding that he hopes Grindr could be used to help people find doctors.

Zoom in: Athena co-founder and CEO AJ Wolf is joining Grindr as a senior manager of product finance, while co-founder and technology chief Max Roche is joining as a senior iOS engineer.

  • Grindr has not acquired any of Athena's assets.
  • "[Athena's] engagement with users was really good," says Arison. "What Grindr has to do in the future is maintain the really great engagement that we have."

Zoom out: Grindr isn't the only dating app looking beyond dating. Bumble launched BFF, its feature to connect with new friends, and turned that into a separate app. The company also created Bumble Bizz for professional networking.

Between the lines: Most of Grindr's revenue right now is from paid features via subscriptions and individual purchases. Arison wants to expand those offerings.

  • "We don't offer as many things in those [subscription] tiers as we should," he explains, adding that it could potentially add a third, even more expensive subscription tier.

The bottom line: Grindr is open to doing small deals to acquire talent or interesting tech it can integrate into its app.

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