Tinder co-founders sue parent company for $2.8 billion
The suit alleges that they were cheated out of payouts and stock options.
A group comprising Tinder's co-founders and some of its early employees are swiping left on the company's current owner – with a lawsuit of US$2 billion (SG$2.8 billion).
InterActive Corp (IAC) is the holding company for the Match Group, which owns Tinder as well as other dating sites such as OkCupid, and Match.com.
The lawsuit's 10 plaintiffs include three Tinder co-founders – namely Sean Rad, Justin Mateen, and Jonathan Badeen – along with current and former senior executives.
It contained more than a few explosive claims. For instance, it alleges that IAC tried to downplay Tinder's valuation in order to avoid higher payouts to employees.
"When it came time to pay the Tinder employees what they rightfully earned, the defendants lied, bullied, and violated their contractual duties, stealing billions of dollars," said Orin Snyder, the lawyer representing the employees.
There's also the allegation that after a party where the then-CEO "groped and sexually harassed" the company's vice-president of marketing, Tinder's HR and legal departments "covered up" the incident.
The accused executive, Gregg Blatt, was apparently allowed to continue in his role during the company's investigation – which was reportedly conducted by a HR executive who had worked for him for more than a decade – and to continue contacting his victim.
In a statement, IAC did not seem to address the allegations of sexual misconduct. However, it did say that the financial complaints were "meritless".
"Since Tinder’s inception, Match Group has paid out in excess of a billion dollars in equity compensation to Tinder’s founders and employees," it added.