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On Eve of IPO, Match Group Disavows Tinder CEO Sean Rad's Disastrous Interview

The parent company says the Tinder usage figures cited in the article aren't accurate.

Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

This morning, the Internet collectively pointed and laughed at Tinder CEO Sean Rad for giving a trainwreck of an interview to the London Evening Standard. In the article, Rad confused the definition of sodomy and stressed that he had only slept with 20 women. It did not make the CEO, who has a knack for drawing bad press, look very good.

Match Group, which owns Tinder and a slew of other dating sites and is set to go public tomorrow, doesn’t think Rad came across very well either. In an SEC filing, the company wanted to make it clear that Rad was not speaking on behalf of the company. And the statement particularly emphasized that the analyst numbers on Tinder’s users that were cited in the article were not kosher.

Here’s the key section of the filing:

The article was not approved or condoned by, and the content of the article was not reviewed by, the Company or any of its affiliates. Mr. Rad is not a director or executive officer of the Company and was not authorized to make statements on behalf of the Company for purposes of the article. The article noted that “Analysts believe the [Tinder] app, which launched in 2012, has around 80 million users worldwide and records 1.8 billion ‘swipes’ a day.” While these statements were not made by Mr. Rad, the Company notes that they are inaccurate and directs readers to the Preliminary Prospectus, which states that for the month of September 2015, Tinder had approximately 9.6 million daily active users, with Tinder users “swiping” through an average of more than 1.4 billion user profiles each day.

The release is solely concerned with distancing Rad from the user numbers the Evening Standard cited, which were attributed to analysts. The Match Group doesn’t appear to care about the indirect threats Rad made to Nancy Jo Sales, the author of a Vanity Fair article about Tinder from a few months ago (“There’s some stuff about her as an individual that will make you think differently”).

This isn’t the first time some last-minute press has clouded a company’s plans to go public. In 2004, Google was forced to revise its IPO filings because of an interview that Sergey Brin and Larry Page gave to Playboy. Traditionally, the time between when a company files its S-1 for an IPO (Match Group put in its S-1 last month) and when it actually goes public is called a “quiet period.” It’s unclear why Rad gave an interview in the days leading up to an IPO.

Match Group is owned by IAC. Spokespersons for IAC and Tinder could not immediately be reached for comment.

Update: The Match Group has announced that it will price its shares at $12 a pop, which sets the company’s value at around $2.9 billion.

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