co-founders of the popular dating app, Tinder, are seeking
billions of dollarsin
a new lawsuit filedagainst their parent
company, IAC/InterActive Corp and its Match Group
subsidiary. The lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court,
alleges that that IAC and Match manipulated financial information
to undermine Tinder’s valuation and “stole” billions of dollars
from Tinder founders and top executives, includingSean
Rad, Justin Mateen,andJonathan
part of the alleged scheme, IAC and Match allegedly created phony
financial projections, “inflating Tinder’s expenses and inventing
an alternate universe in which Tinder was stagnating towards
freefall.” They also allegedly delayed new Tinder features and
products, lied about true forecasts of Tinder’s finances, and
“bullied and threatened to fire” those among Tinder’s leadership
who might expose this. All this was allegedly to undervalue Tinder
to the benefit of IAC and Match and the detriment of Tinder’s
optionholders. As optionholders of a privately shared
company, they could only sell their options back to IAC/Match.
Therefore, it was better for the parent company if the value was
lawsuit also claims thatGreg
Blatt, Match Group’s Chairman and CEO, groped and
sexually harassed another high level employee at Tinder during and
after a 2016 holiday party in Los Angeles. Tinder Vice President
of Marketing and Communications Rosette
Pambakian told Rad about this in mid-2017 after
Rad had heard about it and asked her for confirmation. Rad then
reported this to Match’s general counsel and demanded that Tinder
bring in an independent investigation of the matter. Instead, the
lawsuit claims, the Match attorney told him that Match would
handle the investigation themselves, only for IAC and Match to
“cover up Blatt’s conduct,” even letting him contact Pambakian and
an eyewitness to the alleged harassment. Blatt allegedly pressured
the witness into helping cover up the alleged misconduct.
the complaint says, was acting as interim CEO of Tinder at the
same time that he was CEO of Match, which posed “a glaring
conflict of interest,” because while Tinder’s CEO is supposed to
look out for their optionholders, Match benefited from
undervaluing Tinder. Because he was integral to IAC and Match’s
plan to “cheat” Tinder’s optionholders, the lawsuit alleges, the
company kept Blatt on despite the allegations against him.
put Blatt in charge of carrying out their scheme, Defendants
needed him to remain at the helm of Tinder long enough to finish
the job,” the complaint says.
complaint also accused Blatt of having had “a well-earned
reputation as a notorious bully with a volcanic temper and a habit
of threatening to fire employees who contradicted him.”
press release issued by the plaintiffs in the lawsuit states,
“IAC/Match covered up the reported misconduct because the
Chairman/CEO was leading the effort to rob Tinder’s employees of
their contractually guaranteed compensation. A credible
investigation and public firing would have exposed his alleged
misconduct and derailed IAC/Match’s scheme to cheat the Tinder
is planning to retire at the end of the year, and will stay as CEO
of Tinder until a replacement can be named. Mandy Ginsberg was
appointed CEO of Match Group effective January 1, 2018.
Group, which is headquartered in Texas, owns and operates several
dating websites including OKCupid, Tinder,Match.com,
and Metic. Tinder was launched out of Hatch Labs, an incubator
which was a venture of IAC.
were always concerned about IAC’s reputation for ignoring their
contractual commitments and acting like the rules dont apply to
them. But we never imagined the length they would go to cheat all
the people who built Tinder. The Tinder team- especially the
plaintiff who are currently senior leaders at the company — have
shown trememndous strength in exposing IAC/Match’s systematic
violation of employees’ rights,” said Rad, who served as Tinder’s
first CEO and was one of the founders.
with Rad, Badeen, Mateen, and Pambakian, former Director of
Cafardo, former Lead Designer Gareth
Johnson, Vice President of Finance James
Kim, former Head of U.S. Expansion Alexa
Mateen, Director of Marketing Joshua
Metz, and Chief Technology Officer Ryan
Ogle are named plaintiffs. They are seeking $2
billion in compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages.
response to the lawsuit, IAC said in a statement to Law&Crime,
“The allegations in the complaint are meritless, and IAC and Match
Group intend to vigorously defend against them.” Their statement,
which did not address the allegations of groping and harassment,
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.”
This article has been updated as more details were learned and
with a statement from IAC.
Match Group (fka IAC Personals) bought OKCupid
(several years ago) for an
astronomical amount of money, the OKCupid team had
the task to copycat
Badoo, but they failed in that mission.
IAC / Match Group "acquired" HatchLabs to "develop"
Tinder copycat of Badoo.
backed by Badoo: Perhaps it is only a revenge
against Match Group! No more than that.
reached operating ceiling, that is the main reason
MTCH launched Tinder U, they need ambassadors.
Do not forget MTCH has big debt, in the range of USD
Chispa, Pairs and Crown dating app, seems to be more
bells and whistles and not really innovations.
Perhaps Facebook is copycatting Tinder and Bumble,
with some minor improvement with the help of former
perhaps Facebook dating app will be free in order to
erode Match Group dating sites.