The Hustle

Bumble: An IPO to swipe right on?

Bumble is about to IPO. Will the markets give it credit for its growth and mission to empower women in dating?


February 8, 2021

Today, 40% of US couples meet online.

To contextualize how significant that is, in 2020, some 150m messages were sent through the dating app Bumble every day.

Now, those corny opening lines are about to make Whitney Wolfe Herd — Bumble’s founder (and former co-founder of Tinder) — a billionaire: The startup is prepping for a $6B IPO.

Bumble was founded in 2014…

… after Herd left Tinder due to sexual harassment.

She launched Bumble as an antidote to antiquated dating norms (e.g., the man needing to reach out first) and online harassment. On the app, women have 24 hours to make the first move with matches.

The approach has taken off

A review of the company’s pre-IPO S1 filing shows a number of strengths:

The online dating opportunity is big

But one of Bumble’s largest competitors, $42B+ Match Group, owns virtually every big dating app in the US, including Hinge, OkCupid, and Tinder (which has a 54% market share alone).

Match and Bumble have actually been embroiled in lawsuits in the past over trade secrets.

Whatever the app’s long-term fortunes, here are the big winners when the startup goes public (under $BMBL) later this week… just before Valentine’s Day:

Let’s see if the market is equally a-‘buzz’ with the company.

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