This tale seems into the March 8, 2016 dilemma of Forbes Asia. Sign up for Forbes Asia
IT HAD BEEN PAST SUMMERTIME when Zhou Yahui first learned about Grindr. The U.S. hookup that is gay was seeking a customer and a buddy introduced it to him. The billionaire creator of Beijing video video gaming business Kunlun Tech eventually chose to swipe immediately after negotiating an excellent cost. Kunlun in January invested $93 million for a 60% stake, valuing Grindr at lower than ten times profits before interest, fees and depreciation, he claims.
But Zhou that is 39-year-old does expect Grindr users to relax and play their games. He aims to propel Kunlun in to the ranks Age Gap dating app of China’s largest Internet companies from a scarcely understood outside its sector. The target isn’t to battle
Zhou Yahui seats Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., which recently bought U.S. hookup that is gay Grindr and . [+] browser developer Opera(picture Credit: Gilles Sabrie for Forbes)
Kunlun’s latest transaction may be the $1.23 billion purchase of web web browser designer Opera. The consortium Zhou led, which include internet protection and search outfit Qihoo 360, outbid computer pc software designer Cheetah mobile phone, additionally of Beijing, to simply take Opera that is oslo-listed private. The step that is next slashing the business’s workforce of 1,600 by a lot more than a 3rd, so that it could possibly get rid of unprofitable devices in growing areas. He could be additionally dealing with Qihoo to enhance the browser’s speed and security. “I know all of the areas i will be expanding into seem to be very competitive,” Zhou says. “But my business is strong enough. I am certain we could fight our means out.”
The Yunnan native very long planned diversification of Kunlun, where he could be now president.
From time one Zhou wished to base their business for a browsing or social platform in place of a content-driven sector like video video gaming, claims Cao Yi, mind of Beijing VC company supply Code Capital and a friend that is longtime.
Before founding Kunlun in 2008, Tsinghua-taught Zhou in 2006 joined Chinese social media site Renren and observed exactly exactly how CEO Joe Chen early on additional users. He is held a detailed attention on the organization since and took a cue from Chen’s diversification into online finance and logistics whenever Renren plateaued. In 2004 he quit their own social software, Huoshen, after failing continually to carry it to measure. The venture into video gaming was fortuitous–he left Renren within just per year to help make more cash from attempting to sell software that is chinese games abroad. Zhou himself has passion that is little such fare and seldom samples just what Kunlun offers.
Opera exceeds 300 million monthly users. Managing a web browser will give you dependable visitors to Kunlun’s other company arms. Grindr, which hosts about 2 million day-to-day site visitors from 196 countries, represents a lucrative niche Zhou can dominate when you look at the space that is social.
For many their global aspiration, Zhou is homebred. Their parents struggled to obtain federal government bureaus within the scenic town of Lijiang. These people were against their startup bent and desired him to own a job that is stable. Zhou claims he did not even dare to return home whenever Huoshen dropped aside. Peddling software abroad afterward forced him to believe wider.
But Zhou never mastered much English. Bringing an interpreter along, he once challenged A facebook marketing policy modification at its head office in California during Kunlun’s very early years. Zhou did not get exactly just what he desired but later on fixed the connection, recalls Kunlun Games CEO Chen Fang.
Now he spends almost all of each abroad, looking for expansion points year. Besides Twitter, Kunlun markets its products through targeted apps. It built team communication software RaidCall for international users, while the application is popular in Taiwan and Russia. In Thailand it partners with messaging line that is app market its games. The business comes with two app shops, 1mobile and brothersoft, which combined have actually about 20 million month-to-month users that are active.