Aug 14, 2018

Tinder founders sue owner for "manipulating financial information"

Former Tinder CEO and Founder Sean Rad. Photo: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Advertising Week Europe

The founders of dating app Tinder filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the app's owner, IAC, and its subsidiary Match Group, CNBC reports.

The details: The lawsuit alleges that the two "robbed Tinder employees by manipulating financial information, undermining Tinder's valuation and unlawfully stripping away their Tinder stock options," per CNBC. Current executives at the company, and early employees, filed the suit along with founders Sean Rad, Jonathan Badeen, and Justin Mateen.

The lawsuit also alleges that Match Group's CEO and Chairman Greg Blatt sexually harassed and groped Rosette Pambakian, Tinder VP of marketing and communications, per CNBC.

Orin Snyder, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told CNBC that the evidence "is overwhelming that when it came time to pay the Tinder employees what they rightfully earned, the defendants lied, bullied, and violated their contractual duties, stealing billions of dollars. A jury will now hold the defendants responsible for their multibillion-dollar theft."

Flashback: Rad and Mateen were tied up in their own sexual harassment lawsuit in 2014.

  • Match was also suing rival dating app Bumble earlier this year over allegations of patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets, Axios' Dan Primack reported.

Match said in a statement: "Since Tinder’s inception, Match Group has paid out in excess of a billion dollars in equity compensation to Tinder’s founders and employees.  With respect to the matters alleged in the complaint, the facts are simple: Match Group and the plaintiffs went through a rigorous, contractually- defined valuation process involving two independent global investment banks, and Mr. Rad and his merry band of plaintiffs did not like the outcome.  Mr. Rad (who was dismissed from the Company a year ago) and Mr. Mateen (who has not been with the Company in years) may not like the fact that Tinder has experienced enormous success following their respective departures, but sour grapes alone do not a lawsuit make.  Mr. Rad has a rich history of outlandish public statements, and this lawsuit contains just another series of them.  We look forward to defending our position in court.”

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