TL; DR: As the first dating app for men, Grindr dominates the market like no other and has become the largest mobile network for men in just five short years.
With over 10 million downloads, 5 million monthly active users in 192 countries, mentions on shows like “SNL” AND available across iOS, Blackberry and Android, Grindr has a lot to brag about.
But Grindr is much more than impressive numbers and facts, it is also a company committed to its users.
We were lucky enough to speak with the man behind the company, founder and CEO Joel Simkhai, to learn more about Grindr’s history, what makes it stand out and how the team is helping its members and the world.
1. A hard-working executive director
Simkhai, who was born in Tel Aviv, Israel and immigrated to New York as a young man, has a background for success, with degrees in international relations and economics, as well as work in finance, journalism and the startup industry.
Joe Simkhai, founder and chief executive officer of Grindr
But a successful career wasn’t the only thing Simkhai wanted – he also wanted a successful love life. And what better way to do that than to create an app that tells him where other gay men are?
Grindr was born shortly after that and quickly became a global phenomenon.
In just two years, Simkhai went from working in his living room to working in a Hollywood office, all thanks to praise from early Grindr users.
“I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and from a young age I learned that you have to be passionate about what you do and create a product that customers find useful and enjoyable,” he said. “But more importantly, your product has to solve a problem. As a consumer company, it’s about your customers, so we listen, stay connected and work as hard as we can to continue to make a product they will continue to use and enjoy. “
2. Unbeatable functions
Whether you’re looking to meet or chat, Grindr has the features for you!
In addition to being able to see where potential matches are and chat with them, Grindr and Grindr Xtra, an ad-free subscription service with premium features, also allow users to tag someone as a favorite, show only those who are online, save phrases, view another person’s dating “stats” and more.
“One of the best things about Grindr is that it’s so simple and intuitive,” Simkhai said. “What I want to try and avoid is an app that has so many features that it’s too confusing and complicated. Grindr is simple and fast: if you know how to use a smartphone, you know how to use Grindr.”
3. Grindr for equality
While many companies have made strides when it comes to raising awareness of LGBT issues, few have had as much impact as Grindr for Equality. In 2014 alone, Grindr for Equality participated in 19 initiatives.
“The notion behind Grindr for Equality is that we can leverage our user base to help promote gay rights,” Simkhai said. “We will send in-app messages to our users that have specific calls to action. It could be to vote, call an elected official, go to a rally, donate or go to an event. Basically it’s just doing something, having our voices heard.”
Grindr uses its large user base to organize and fight for LGBT rights.
“Grindr for Equality delivered meaningful and tangible results with nearly hundreds of thousands of users so far who have clicked on messages in the app to sign a petition, donate money or participate in a specific call to action this year,” he continued. “We have helped raise awareness about HIV/AIDS treatment and testing, encouraged our users to use their voice and advance the rights of our community.”
4. A bright future
While Grindr has just launched a redesign of its profiles, making it sexier and more visually appealing to users, there is much more available.
“As far as what’s next, we’re always looking for ways to make it easier and faster for guys to meet,” Simkhai said. “I think we can do a lot more to simplify the process and make it better.”
For more information about Grindr and all the wonderful things the company does, visit www.grindr.com.