Bumble IPO: Is It Worth The Buzz?

Shares of dating app darling Bumble Inc. (BMBL) jumped 63% in value on the company’s first day of trading on Thursday, valuing it at almost $8 billion. Bumble still has a long way to go before it can match up with Match Group Inc. (MTCH), the everpresent $45 billion dating conglomerate that runs the eponymous Match.com as well as Tinder and Hinge.

Like the recent Airbnb Inc. (ABNB) IPO, you’d think the depths of a pandemic would be exactly the wrong time for a company like Bumble to go public. Not only are people wary of meeting with strangers outside of their bubble, but also the places where dating happens, like bars and restaurants, are closed or restricted throughout the country.

The basic idea behind a dating app couldn’t be simpler: match single people. That’s why there are at least 1,500 options available. To stand out from the crowd, however, a dating app has to offer a clever new take on this simple task. Bumble’s innovation has been to give women complete control over the opening move in the dating process.

Like all other dating apps, Bumble lets you create a profile, upload pictures of yourself and signal what you’re looking for in a partner. Unlike other apps, however, when a woman and a man match on Bumble, only the woman is empowered to make the first move and start a conversation (either person in a same-sex match may initiate conversation).

“The Bumble brand was built with women at the center,” stated Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd in the company’s IPO filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). “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.”

Throughout its marketing materials, Bumble emphasizes how much it wants to make meeting other people on the internet friendly, comfortable and non-threatening. Bumble’s seemingly obvious yet simple innovation has helped differentiate it from other apps, like Tinder. It’s also proven wildly successful: Bumble has built a loyal following of more than 12 million active users since 2014.

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Bumble IPO: Is It Worth The Buzz?

The basic idea behind a dating app couldn’t be simpler: match single people. That’s why there are at least 1,500 options available. To stand out from the crowd, however, a dating app has to offer a clever new take on this simple task. Bumble’s innovation has been to give women complete control over the opening move in the dating process.

Taylor is an award-winning journalist who has covered a range of personal finance topics in the New York Times, Newsweek, Fortune, Money magazine, Bloomberg, and NPR. He lives in Dripping Springs, TX with his wife and kids and welcomes bbq tips. The Forbes Advisor editorial team is independent and objective. To help support our reporting work, and to continue our ability to provide this content for free to our readers, we receive compensation from the companies that advertise on the Forbes Advisor site. This compensation comes from two main sources.

Like the recent Airbnb Inc. (ABNB) IPO, you’d think the depths of a pandemic would be exactly the wrong time for a company like Bumble to go public. Not only are people wary of meeting with strangers outside of their bubble, but also the places where dating happens, like bars and restaurants, are closed or restricted throughout the country.

“The Bumble brand was built with women at the center,” stated Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd in the company’s IPO filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). “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.”

Match earned $2.4 billion in revenue in 2020, up 17% from the year before; Tinder alone took in $1.4 billion. Match has 10.9 million users, a 12% gain from the year before. Match Group’s stock is up more than 60% over the past year, and the company is valued at $46 billion, or roughly eight times Bumble’s current valuation.

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