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Tinder co-founder Sean Rad. Photo: S3studio/Getty Images

Match Group on Tuesday responded to Sean Rad and the other founders of dating app Tinder, who sued Match and parent company IAC two months ago for allegedly undervaluing Tinder, thus depriving them of compensation.

The defense: Match, which has always owned Tinder, argues in a new court filing that this is just sour grapes from those who sold their shares too soon and is asking a New York court to dismiss the lawsuit.

Among Match's claims:

  • Rad's argument that Tinder's $3 billion valuation was "fraudulent" is invalid, given that he was intimately involved with the valuation process led by Barclays and Deutsche Bank. For example, Rad, his bankers and his attorneys allegedly participated in at least eight such meetings, including four of them in person.
  • Both Match and Rad underestimated Tinder's future performance, including a new product called Tinder Gold. For example, Rad's higher estimate for 2018 revenue was $503 million, whereas Tinder is actually on track for around $800 million.
  • Rad chose to sell his Match Group shares, netting around $400 million, while his co-plaintiffs did the same. Had they believed Tinder would outperform, Match argues, they would have held onto their stock and reaped the benefits (Match shares are up more than 60% year to date).
  • The challenge is being brought too late, as there is a 90-day window in New York for challenging arbitration and appraisal awards.

Some of the original plaintiffs dropped out of the lawsuit several weeks after it was filed. Among them was Rosette Pambakian, former Tinder VP of marketing and communications, who alleged sexual harassment against former Match Group CEO and Chairman Greg Blatt.

Match's request for dismissal does not address the harassment allegations, which it has previously denied.

An attorney for Tinder, Orin Snyder, told Axios in a statement: "IAC and Match know they cheated Tinder employees out of billions of dollars. Their sham valuation is a case study of corporate dishonesty and corruption. When the jury sees the evidence, we are confident the talented team who built Tinder will prevail."

Correction: The story has been corrected to show that Greg Blatt is no longer at Match Group.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

National Guard chief: Pentagon's "unusual" Jan. 6 restrictions led to 3-hour delay

William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, testified Wednesday that a three-hour delay in approval for National Guard assistance during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack was exacerbated by "unusual" restrictions on his authorities by Pentagon leadership.

Why it matters: Walker testified that if Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy had not prohibited him in a Jan. 5 memo from using the National Guard's "Quick Reaction Force" without authorization, he would have "immediately" sent troops to the Capitol after receiving a "frantic call" from then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund.

2 hours ago - World

U.S.-Iran nuclear diplomacy is going nowhere fast

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Iran's cool response to the Biden administration's push for diplomatic engagement, along with rising tensions in the region, makes clear that salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal may be far more difficult than many had anticipated.

The state of play: Both the U.S. and Iran have entered the diplomatic dance, but it seems to be moving in circles.

Venture capital platform Indie.vc is shutting down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Indie.vc, an effort launched six years ago to invest small amounts in bootstrapped businesses, announced on Tuesday that it’s winding down.

Why it matters: Venture capital, despite being the money of innovation, is rarely innovative itself. Indie.vc was an effort to break out of the tedium, so its failure is de facto disappointing.