15 February, 2017
Tinder’s Sean Rad On How Technology And Artificial Intelligence Will Change Dating
Tinder, the Match Group’s popular dating app, has made more than 20 billion connections since Sean Rad launched the app in 2012. Back then the app, which lets you swipe through an endless flow of potential mates, was simply a side project for Rad. Today, Tinder has more than 50 million active users across 195 countries.
Tinder founder and chairman Sean Rad sat down with me on The Forbes Interview podcast to talk about the future of Tinder, his move from Tinder CEO to head the new acquisition group Swipe Ventures, and how A.I. and A.R. will change dating forever.
Below, some highlights.
Rad on Tinder diversifying away from pure dating:
We just launched Tinder Social and that is going incredibly well. I think there’s definitely demand among our users to find new ways to connect – and connect with people that are particularly going out tonight. There’s some exciting stuff happening on that front. But overall, we’re focused on innovating and advancing the ways that you can make new connections, particularly romantic ones. And I think Swipe Ventures is focused on acquiring companies that will not only accelerate our five-year vision for what Tinder can be along the dating side, but then also, taking our core competencies and applying them to sort of adjacent businesses as well as growing and diversifying the business.
Rad on leaving the CEO role and heading Tinder’s new M&A arm, Swipe Ventures:
I came back as CEO about two years ago or a little over a year and a half ago. For me, the goal was to expand Tinder to allow us to really operate with an international footprint, because we have users in 196 countries so scaling the organization and thinking internationally (thinking globally) were sort of a big step for us. And you know, my second goal was to make sure that we were financially in a position where we can fund our ambitions for years to come. I felt like both of those things were sort of well in place and I was very happy with where the company was at, very happy with our trajectory and where we were going on the growth side. So I wanted to sort of take the next step when it comes to growing the business, which is going out there and figuring out what are the businesses that we can acquire to empower I think of as our five-year road-map. What are sort of new businesses we can get into, where we bring something unique to the table? We do see some big changes coming in the technology space in the next three to five years, even. And sort of my goal is to make sure that we’re making investments to make sure that Tinder is going to be around for decades.