Joel Simkhai

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Joel Simkhai
Joel Simkhai at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012
Simkhai at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012
Alma materTufts University
Known forfounder and former CEO of Grindr and Blendr
RelativesJonathan Simkhai (brother)

Joel Simkhai (born c. 1976[1][2]) is an Israeli-American tech entrepreneur. He is the founder and former CEO of geosocial networking and dating apps Grindr[3] and Blendr.[4] His original goal in starting Grindr was for people with similar interests to find new friends nearby.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Simkhai was born in Tel Aviv, Israel to Iranian Jewish and Yemenite Jewish parents. His mother was a jeweler, and his father was a diamond dealer. When he was three years old, his family moved to New York City.[6] He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations & Economics from Tufts University in May 1998.[citation needed] After starting college, he came out to his parents and friends. He has two brothers, who are also gay.[1]

After college, he worked in mergers and acquisitions.[1]

While he started with little money or expertise[7] and never expected Grindr to become international,[6] he became a multimillionaire CEO of an app with millions of users worldwide.[3] In January 2018, he left Grindr after the company was sold to the Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech.[8][9]

Simkhai is a charter member of the Young Presidents' Organization.[3]

He owns several properties, primarily residing in Los Angeles.[10] In 2021, Dave Keuning bought a mansion that Simkhai owned in Outpost Estates.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Philip Utz (August 25, 2016). "An encounter with Joel Simkhai, founder of Grindr". Numéro. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  2. ^ Bessette, Chanelle (August 12, 2014). "10 Questions: Joel Simkhai, founder and CEO, Grindr". Fortune. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Trebay, Guy (December 12, 2014). "The Sex Education of Grindr's Joel Simkhai". The New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  4. ^ Medina, Mekahlo (September 8, 2011). "A New Social Blendr". NBC Los Angeles.
  5. ^ O'Dell, J. (March 14, 2012). "Grindr creator on his new app, lesbian gaydar, & more at SXSW [video]". VentureBeat. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Doron Halutz (June 28, 2016). "Israeli Founder of Grindr Talks About Growing Up Gay and Coming Out to His Family". Haaretz. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  7. ^ Smiley, Minda (May 25, 2016). "Grindr CEO Joel Simkhai explains how he turned his idea for the app into a reality". Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  8. ^ Alejandra Reyes-Velarde (January 8, 2018). "Chinese gaming company buys remaining stake of Grindr". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2019-01-24. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  9. ^ David, Mark. "Grindr's Joel Simkhai Taps Out of Mansion in the Hills". Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  10. ^ McClain, James (January 22, 2020). "Grindr Founder Joel Simkhai Buys $13 Million Hollywood Hills Mansion". Variety. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  11. ^ Bowman, Wendy (September 21, 2021). "The Killers' Dave Keuning Buys Grindr Founder's $9.6 Million Outpost Estates Mansion". yahoo! life. Retrieved September 21, 2021.