TECH CRUNCH - Aug 14 - A group of Tinder founders and executives has filed a lawsuit against parent company Match Group and its controlling shareholder IAC. The plaintiffs in the suit include Tinder co-founders Sean Rad, Justin Mateen and Jonathan Badeen who still works at Tinder, as do plaintiffs James Kim (the company's vice president of finance) and Rosette Pambakian (its vice president of marketing and communications). The suit alleges that IAC and Match Group manipulated financial data in order to create "a fake lowball valuation", then stripped Rad, Mateen, Badeen and others of their stock options. The lawsuit also alleges that Greg Blatt, the Match CEO who became CEO of Tinder, groped and sexually harassed Pambakian at the company's 2016 holiday party, supposedly leading the company to "whitewash" his actions long enough for him to complete the valuation of Tinder and its merger with Match Group, and then to announce his departure. The plaintiffs are asking for "compensatory damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but not less than $2B."
Match Group statement: The allegations in the complaint are meritless, and IAC and Match Group intend to vigorously defend against them. Match Group and the plaintiffs went through a rigorous, contractually – defined valuation process involving two independent global investment banks, and Mr. Rad and his merry band of plaintiffs did not like the outcome. Mr. Rad and Mr. Mateen may not like the fact that Tinder has experienced enormous success following their respective departures. Mr. Rad has a rich history of outlandish public statements, and this lawsuit contains just another series of them. We look forward to defending our position in court.