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Bumble Has an IPO Date

Written by Monica Savaglia
Posted February 9, 2021

The popular dating app Bumble is aiming for a pre-Valentine’s Day IPO. 

Marketed as a feminist dating app, Bumble allows women to make the first move, which gives them a little more control of their dating experience. It was started by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, so she has the inside knowledge of how to set Bumble apart from its competitor. If you were creating a new dating app, wouldn't you want to set it apart from the one that you helped co-found and left?

A dating app that does all the same things as every other dating app is boring. There needs to be some type of “edge” or difference. The prospect of having more control over their dating experience is intriguing to women, especially those who have been put off by apps like Tinder that come with the stigma of being a hook-up app. Not to mention, requiring women to make the first move takes some of the pressure off of men. 

Based in Texas, Bumble was first released back in 2014. Not only does its app let women looking for heterosexual matches make the first contact, but it also lets either person in same-sex matches send a message first. In addition to romantic matches, the app offers a “BFF” platform for people who are in a new city and looking to grow their social network and meet new friends. 

In Bumble’s IPO prospectus, Herd, now Bumble's CEO, said:

Healthy relationships are the foundation of a happy life. Without them, we can’t reach our full potential. I founded Bumble to empower women to build healthier and more equitable connections in an effort to improve relationships for everyone. 

Herd believes the approach Bumble has taken with dating, friendship, and business networking could help bring a shift to a healthier and more fulfilling society for everyone. It’s true that relationships, whether they are romantic or platonic, are important to humans as a whole. Generally, we seek to be understood and to connect with people. Those desires have become even more important over this past year of social distancing and quarantining. Being isolated can take a toll on an individual's mental health, and apps like Bumble and its sister company, Badoo, are bringing those connections back into people’s lives. 

While dating apps have been a part of the lives of many people over the past few years, these apps have become an even more important means of socializing during the pandemic. The use of dating apps as a way to meet new people was on the rise even before the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an easy way to fit socializing into your busy schedule without actually doing the “work” of getting presentable and going somewhere. Most people have a smartphone handy when they have downtime waiting in line at the grocery store or sitting around being bored at home. Dating apps have become the more convenient option for dating, and the growth of that sector could easily continue in the years to come. According to Statista, the projected CAGR for revenue in the online dating market is 9.3% from 2021 to 2024.

Bumble operates two popular dating apps, Bumble and Badoo. In its S-1, it reports that it has over 40 million active monthly users. It also reported that as of September 2020, Bumble accounted for 2.4 million paying users. Bumble operates under a “freemium” business model, which means that it’s free to use, but while using the app, users are offered subscriptions and in-app premium features. Bumble’s investors, which include Blackstone, have invested about $2.2 billion into the company. According to the company’s IPO prospectus, as of September 30, 2020, it had $362.6 million in total revenue. The company hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and could continue to be successful even as the world shifts out of it. 

Mobile app marketing intelligence company, Sensor Tower, indicates that the Bumble app is the second-highest-grossing dating app in the world. Bumble and Badoo share a common infrastructure, which is beneficial to the company for insights about both apps, which can improve the app and user experience. Bumble has been an innovator in dating app features, like automated photo verification to promote safety, an in-app video chat, and machine-learning capabilities to blur unsolicited lewd images. As the dating app market grows, Bumble continues to make a name for itself globally, positioning itself as a strong competitor to other major online dating platforms like Match Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MTCH), which includes brands like Tinder, Match, Meetic, OkCupid, Hinge, PlentyOfFish, and others. 

Bumble's IPO Details

The company is set to go public this Thursday, February 11, on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “BMBL.” It has 23 banks that are underwriting its deal, which will be led by Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. On Monday, February 8, the company decided to increase its targeted price range to $37–$39 per share. The exact IPO price most likely won’t be revealed until late Wednesday night or early Thursday. Bumble could raise $1.66 billion–$1.76 billion thanks to this updated price range, which could put the company near an $8 billion valuation. Cleo Capital’s Sarah Kunst (a former senior adviser to Bumble) had this to say about the company:

As the youngest woman to ever take a company public, Whitney has proven that dating, a category long shunned by venture investors, is a highly lucrative and fast-growing sector. She also is at the vanguard of several dawning realizations in tech: companies founded outside of Silicon Valley, companies founded by women, and gender parity on boards.

Bumble operates in an industry that will continue to grow. The company is already a popular resource for dating in the U.S. and throughout the world, so its upcoming IPO is going to be one to watch. 

Until next time,

Monica Savaglia Signature Park Avenue Digest

Monica Savaglia

Monica Savaglia is Wealth Daily’s IPO specialist. With passion and knowledge, she wants to open up the world of IPOs and their long-term potential to everyday investors. She does this through her newsletter IPO Authority, a one-stop resource for everything IPO. She also contributes regularly to the Wealth Daily e-letter. To learn more about Monica, click here.

 

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