Bumble IPO: Wall street’s First Move After Swiping Right

The idea of dating apps is pretty simple: Swipe and match with other single people around you. No wonder why there was a wave of dating apps that followed after the initial success of apps like Tinder. To stand out from the crowd, Bumble had to do something different that defines its identity and brand. And, the creator of the app and now a billionaire CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd did just that.

The First Move:

Just like every other dating apps, Bumble allows users to create a profile with pictures, bio, preference, etc. The feature that stands out is also the very premise around which the app is made. When there’s a match between a man and a woman on Bumble, only woman can make the first move.

The first move policy was viewed as an empowerment feature by women who were already on another dating apps like Tinder and also for many women who never signed up on dating apps due to fear of inappropriate commentary.

It created the quite a buzz around the world as more females joined the safe app through which they can interact with other people on the app. And, with the buzz came millions users across the globe.

“We are rewriting the script on gender norms by building a platform that is designed to be safe and empowering for women, and, in turn, provides a better environment for everyone.” Said Whitney Wolfe in the IPO filings with SEC.

Changing Times:

When the pandemic hit the world, it forced everyone to stay between their homes cutting all the human contact. This was the time that the dating apps suffered the most as there was no way for people to meet their matches in the usual manner. Bumble’s video chat option to their app which made sure people stayed in touch without leaving their homes. As the whole generation of people are gradually moving more towards working and staying in isolation compared to their last one and getting used to do things right on the finger tips within the comfort of their homes, the dating apps have been able to attract large number of youth.

Business And Numbers:

Just like any other dating app, Bumble operates on a ‘freemium’ model whereby majority of users use the app for free and a portion of users pay for ‘premium’ features. Bumble also offers two other variants in the same app alongside its flagship ‘Bumble Date’ called ‘Bumble BFF’ and ‘Bumble Bizz’ for people to choose the kind of networking they would like to participate in.

As per the IPO filing, Bumble owns another app by the name of ‘Badoo’ which is a Russia-based dating app and combined they have around 42 million active users across 150 countries out of which average of 2.4 million users pay for the additional features. While majority of 42 million users come from Badoo’s hat, the paying users of Bumble bring in substantially more revenue at USD 254.8 million out of total USD 416.6 billion for period of January 2020 to September 2020. Bumble also reported 69% year-to-year growth in revenue from 2018 to 2019 while Badoo had a mild 7.9% in the same period.

Rumble With Ex:

All the numbers seem bright and shining until we look at the mammoth of Match group which is a direct competitor to Bumble and Badoo. Match group owns 21 dating services as of July, 2020. The portfolio includes big names like Tinder, OKCupid,, and Hinge among others. The group combined brought in USD 2.4 billion of revenue out of which USD 1.4 billion was from Tinder alone the co-founder of which was the CEO of Bumble herself. She left the Tinder and filed a lawsuit for sexual harassment against the company which was later settled.

Wall Street’s Right Swipe:

The Bumble IPO debuted on February 11th, 2021 after a lot of anticipation as it was priced above its targeted range. The stock jumped nearly 77% to USD 76. The stock closed with market capital nearing to $8 billion. The offering was led by Goldman Sachs, Citi group, Morgan Stanley, and J.P. Morgan. The stock has since moved down and settled to around USD 68 as it moves past the honeymoon phase.

Future With The Wall Street Date:

With marketing with tag lines like “by women, for women” and “Be the CEO your parents want you to marry” Bumble and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd continue to push hard for empowerment of women and inspiring them to become successful and reach the top. How can they carry the test of time & Wall Street and how can they convert their loss USD 84 million into profits will surely be some exciting events to look forward to.