Grindr has some serious competition in the People’s Republic of China: The gay dating app Blued has now reached 15 million users—an increase of 13 million in less than a year—compared to the relatively paltry 5 million Chinese men on Grindr.
It’s all the more impressive considering how unfriendly the country is to the LGBT community: While homosexuality has been legal in the China since 1997, it’s estimated as many as 90% of gay men are in the country are in marriages of convenience to women.
But things appear to be changing: Thanks to its rapid growth, Blued has received $30 million in funding through DCM, a venture capital firm.
“Our development can make more people to see the value of the gay internet, as well as the diversity and progress of Chinese society,” said Blued CEO Geng Le, who added that the app’s valuation has outpaced many comparable social apps aimed at heterosexuals.
“Worldwide, gay social apps have shown strong demand and broad development space,” said David Chao of DCM. “As China’s first domestic [gay-dating app], future internationalization mean a broader space for development.”
Eventually Le hopes to take Blued public. “The moment gay Internet companies can come to the international stage, the social significance will be far greater than the capital value.”
Check out Geng Le’s story below, courtesy of Radio Netherlands Worldwide’s #StandByMe campaign for LGBT equality.
h/t: Gay Star News