Forbes reported today that the adultery-enabling site looked to buy the gay-hook-up site earlier this year. If it had, imagine the fracas the hacker data dump would have had on the gay male community?
"Amongst the masses of emails dumped by The Impact Team, a group of hackers who have made a mockery of Ashley Madison's digital defences this month, are a handful of conversations showing it was considering a purchase of Grindr, a dating application for gay, bisexual and bi-curious men, which many see as a quick and easy tool for initiating coitus," Forbes reported on Thursday.
While the relationship between Avid Life Media, which owns Ashley Madison, and Grindr stretches back three years, it was earlier this year when Ashley Madison founder Noel Biderman and "major Avid Life Media shareholders considered making an offer for a significant stake in the company."
That was at the time when Grindr, which was founded in 2009 by Joel Simkhai with $5,000, was looking for a buyer, according to Bloomberg Business. At first, Forbes reports in its analysis of leaked emails, Biderman was reluctant to buying Grindr, but made inquiries into the company's financial status. Apparently they were impressed.
"In previously undisclosed data, Grindr's 2014 revenues were said to be $31 million with its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), a measure of profitability, at $14 million. It had 4 million active monthly users and 2 million looking for some fun on the app every day. There were 250,000 paid subscribers in 2014 too."
For its part, Grindr estimated its revenue for 2015 would rise to $38.1 million with EBITDA of $16.5 million. It also claimed to have 324,000 paying subscribers this year.
Still Biderman was reluctant. "Though initially impressed with solid margins and high user interaction, Biderman decided the cost would be too high. 'There is zero chance they will be willing to sell this for anything short of $100 million so why would we waste the time,' he said on 30 May, which Forbes reported on Thursday.
The deal didn't die there. Read the Forbes story to find out the further machinations between the companies. In the end, though, "it appears Biderman and his cohorts considered the acquisition too costly. In light of recent events, it's unlikely they will be making any deals in the near future whatsoever," Forbes concluded.
If they had, Grindr would have been part of the embarrassing data dump that continues to plague Ashley Madison and many Grindr subscriber, be they gay, bi or straight, would have been dealing with the consequences.