Tinder’s Founders Claim They Were Swindled By Its Owners In A completely new Lawsuit

Former in addition to current executives at Tinder have filed a lawsuit claiming the parent company swindled them out of valuable stock options in addition to covered up sexual harassment.

Posted on August 14, 2018, at 2:25 p.m. ET



Founders in addition to current in addition to former executives of Tinder are suing IAC, the parent company in which owns the dating app, claiming in which they were swindled out of money. While the lawsuit does not specify a monetary claim, a person with knowledge of the suit told BuzzFeed News This particular will be for “billions in addition to billions.”

Tinder founders Sean Rad, Jonathan Badeen, in addition to Justin Mateen, along with several various other early Tinder employees, filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming in which IAC/Match Group seriously undervalued Tinder in a scheme to keep via paying out lucrative stock options to the founders in addition to executives. Rad in addition to Mateen no longer work at Tinder.

Tinder was launched via IAC’s Hatch Labs in 2012 in addition to was owned by IAC in addition to Match.

According to the lawsuit, the Tinder executives had stock options in which were supposed to be based on internal valuations (not public) in 2017, 2018, 2020, in addition to 2021. When the first scheduled internal valuation was made in July 2017, IAC/Match valued Tinder at $3 billion based on “false, misleading, in addition to incomplete financial information” — a number the lawsuit claims was way too low, in addition to was the same as a valuation conducted years earlier despite growth in users in addition to revenue. The plaintiffs did not provide an alternative valuation in their complaint.

Then, on the same day as in which first valuation, IAC “secretly merged” Tinder in addition to Match “secretly in addition to without any notice to Tinder optionholders,” converting all Tinder options into Match options at the low $3 billion valuation. The Tinder executives claim in which This particular move was solely to cheat them out of the valuable options, since the valuations in which would likely have happened in 2018 in addition to beyond immediately ceased.

“The Defendants executed their dishonest scheme in private, behind closed doors, in addition to outside the view of the public markets in addition to regulators,” the complaint states.

IAC said in an emailed statement:

The allegations within the complaint are meritless, in addition to IAC in addition to Match Group intend to vigorously defend against them.

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

The lawsuit also alleges in which the Greg Blatt, CEO of Match, groped Rosette Pambakian, one of the Tinder executives (in addition to a plaintiff within the lawsuit), at a holiday party in 2016. This particular claims the sexual harassment was not properly investigated in addition to was swept under the rug because Blatt was part of the scheme to keep the stock valuation lower. The lawsuit also alleges in which various other secret settlements regarding sexual harassment had been made by IAC within the past.

In 2014, cofounder Whitney Wolfe accused Mateen of sexual harassment in a separate lawsuit.

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