Female-empowering dating app Bumble Inc. (Nasdaq: BMBL) managed to greatly exceed expectations on its trading debut, raising $2.15 billion in its initial public offering on Thursday.
The company is to lift off today on the Nasdaq Global Select Market after selling 50 million shares at $43 apiece. Earlier, it planned to sell 34.5 million shares at $28 to $30 and raise about $1 billion. Its market valuation at IPO reached $8.2 billion.
Bumble aims to stand out among dating apps by placing the woman in the position of initial decision-maker. "The Bumble brand was built with women at the center — where women make the first move,” the company said in its prospectus. “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."
The company also owns Badoo, an internationally widespread matchmaking site where users “like” each other’s profiles to initiate contact. Together, the two apps attracted 42 million monthly active users in the third quarter. Citing Sensor Tower, the company said Bumble and Badoo are “two of the highest grossing online dating mobile applications globally, as of August 2020.”
For 2019, Bumble booked $488.9 million in revenue, up 36% year-over-year, on earnings of $85.8 million. For the nine months through September 2020, it reported $416.6 million in revenue on losses of $116.7 million.
For 2020, the preliminary count of Bumble paying users was 1.1 million and the number of Badoo paying users reached 1.4 million, according to the filing with the SEC.
Bumble was founded by Russian billionaire Andrey Andreev, who sold the company to Blackstone in 2019. Whitney Wolfe-Herd, known for co-founding Tinder, took leadership of Bumble. She had resigned from Tinder in 2014 on bad terms, having filed a lawsuit against the company accusing fellow co-founder and ex-boyfriend Justin Mateen of sexual harassment and discrimination.
Now, Bumble competes against Match Group (Nasdaq: MTCH), operator of Tinder, Match.com, OKCupid, and Hinge in the online dating space. As of Thursday, Match had a market cap of $45.75 billion, trading at $172.20 per share by midday. Match Group has been public since November 2015, when it priced at $12 per share, selling 33.3 million shares.
As of midday Thursday, the stock in Bumble was on “hold”.