Silicon Valley Venture Capital Firm Takes Stake in Tinder

Tinder CEO Sean Rad

It's a match for Benchmark

Silicon Valley venture capital firm Benchmark has taken an equity stake in dating app Tinder, and partner Matt Cohler has joined the board, the companies announced Tuesday.

"Benchmark brings to Tinder unparalleled experience in the consumer Internet space," said Tinder CEO Sean Rad. "I'm excited about the contributions my longtime mentor Matt and the Benchmark team can make to our continued growth."

Cohler added that he's long admired the company and is "honored to join the team and get to work in helping the company realize its full opportunity." 

Tinder is controlled by The Match Group, a subsidiary of Barry Diller's IAC. Match CEO Sam Yagan said that Cohler will "complement Sean's proven product leadership and the expertise in the social and dating categories we already have on board." 

Tinder was founded by Rad and Justin Mateen out of Hatch Labs, a startup incubator operated in partnership with IAC at the time and, as such, IAC owns a controlling stake in the business. Tinder's partnership with Benchmark reportedly allows the firm to take a minority stake in the business without investing money into the startup. 

Tinder came under fire in July when former employee Whitney Wolfe brought a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company, IAC and in which she alleged that Rad and Mateen, which whom she had a romantic relationship, denied her a co-founder title because she is a woman. The case was settled without admission of wrongdoing in September, and Mateen is no longer with the company. 

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