Dating App Bumble's Market Value Soars over $13bn in Market Debut
Dating app Bumble gained popularity by putting women front seat of making the first move, the app's market value has now soared to more than $13bn after IPO
Bumble went public on the 11th of February, just in time for Valentines day, and has since increased is share price by over 76%, where the initial share price of $43 went up to $76.This meant the firm became worth more than $13bn (or £9.4bn), making its founder and CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd one of few self-made female billionaires, the youngest women to take a company public, and one of less than two dozen US female-founded firms to list publicly.
Bumble was founded in 2014 with backing from Andreey Andreev who founded Badoo in 2006 in Moscow, which now operates in 190 countries. Wolfe Herd was also one of the co-founders of Tinder, but left her position after a sexual harassment dispute that led Tinder's parent company, Match Group Inc, to settle the dispute for around $1m. Tinder later, unsuccessfully tried to acquire Bumble. Andreev sold his stakes in both Bumble and Badoo to the huge investment group Blackstone, and since Wolfe Herd has led the two companies, who now, combined, have around 40m active users, including more than 2m paying customers.
Bumble's founder was prompted to create the app because of her frustration with the gender norms that control modern dating practices. With bumble, only female users can send the first message when matched with male users, the app also supports same sex matches, where either person can send a message first. Wolfe Herd Stated in a letter to investors ahead of the share listing that she has "experienced firsthand how unequal relationships negatively impact all areas of life," "I wanted to change this". Bumble places focus on healthy relationships and states in their 'about' page that they are essential to a positive and productive life. The app aims to shift old-fashioned power dynamics and encourage equality. Just over seven years after its launch Bumble's on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker BMBL has made the forward-thinking, modern dating app a huge success.
"I want to thank the remarkable women who paved the way for Bumble in the public markets. By supporting and championing each other, we can break down barriers for the next generation of women and folks from marginalized communities. We can’t wait to cheer them on!" - Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder and CEO, Bumble.
Bumble has been working towards better protecting local communities as well as the wider online world from harassment, one example of which is their participation in the passing of a law in Texas in 2019, that sought to ban sending unsolicited nude images. The Bumble app also saw a new feature added that automatically blurs a nude image, the user can then decide if they'd like to view it.
Bumble apps are now available in over than 150 countries and has stated that they are positioned for further growth, with a rising number of single people worldwide the increased adoption and acceptance of online dating as well as further signs that more users have become more willing to pay.
“We believe that there is a significant opportunity to build on our foundation as a technology platform centered on women to become a preeminent global women’s brand. Wherever women go, we can go too.” - Bumble
With expansion into new areas, like business networking and social connections, the increase in use is helping the company to bounce back from the pain of the pandemic, where paid subscriptions saw a downturn, with growth rates decreasing by 15% (year on year) in the first 9 months of 2020, seeing a loss of $116 million. These numbers are drastically different to the 35% increase in revenue in 2019, turning a profit of over $68 million. But in recent months, investors have displayed strong appetite for the shares of the new listing, sending Bumble, among a number of other companies such as Airbnb and Doordash to sky-high valuations in their market debuts.
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