Tinder Parent Buys Controlling Interest in Hinge

Match Group, which owns several dating sites and apps, now has a stake of 51% in Hinge the dating app that focus on millennials and long-term dating.

Match has an option to purchase the remaining Hinge shares within the next 12 months. Other terms of this just announced deal were not in the press release the company issued on Wednesday. The company has not responded to any requests for comment.

This move puts Hinge under the umbrella of the company that is the owner of Tinder, Match.com, OkCupid, OurTime.com and Meetic.

In a Wednesday statement, Match Group’s Mandy Ginsberg, the CEO, said the company is now ready to leverage its extensive experience to help Hinge become a major player in today’s relationship space.

At one time Hinge looked similar in many ways to Tinder. Both used the “swipe” feature that allows users of the app to like or to dislike the photo of another user by swiping with their thumb.

However, Hinge ended its swiping in 2016 in an attempt to shift from being viewed as a hook-up app and to develop a “relationship” app reputation.

Match Group acquired its first stake in Hinge back in 2017 and the company added that it has gradually grown that stake since that time.

In his statement that announced the acquisition by Match Group of the majority stake in the company, CEO of Hinge Justin McLeod said that the company’s mission was to serve millennials looking for more lasting, meaningful connections.

He added that while the prime focus of the company is on the creation of the most effective meeting service for its members, the time has come to bring that dating service to more people both in the U.S. as well as abroad. McLeod added that Hinge was thrilled to have the support of Match Group and the scaling expertise it has as Hinge continues to grow.

This takeover comes only weeks after an announcement was made by Facebook that it wants to add a match-making feature to the social media giant.

Bumble the dating app geared to females also has a swipe feature and has been engaged with Match Group in a legal battle over the last few months that has become very public.

Match Group accuses Bumble of stealing trade secrets as well as patent infringement. Bumble calls Match Group’s lawsuit baseless.