Bumble Inc., owner of the dating app where women make the first move, gave an outlook for revenue in the first quarter that slightly beat analysts’ estimates, reflecting optimism that a waning coronavirus will encourage people to ramp up their social lives and want to meet new friends or partners.
The Austin-based company is predicting revenue of $163 million to $165 million in the current period. Wall Street was forecasting $163 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. For the whole year, Bumble sees sales of $716 million to $726 million, also ahead of expectations.
This is Bumble’s first earnings release after its $2.15 billion initial public offering last month. Launched in 2014, Bumble has gained market share in the U.S., which has traditionally been dominated by Match Group, the owner of Tinder.
“Match is certainly the Goliath in the space, but Bumble is a viable number two,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matt Martino, before the results were released.
In the fourth quarter, revenue rose 31% to $165.6 million, beating the average analyst estimate of $163.3 million. Total paying users increased 32% to 2.7 million, with an average revenue per user of $20.02, roughly unchanged compared with last year. The company swung to a net loss of $26.1 million compared with earnings of $17.2 million a year earlier. The loss per share was 1 cent.
“Our significant increase in revenue and paying users is a direct result of our team’s dedication and remarkable agility during a challenging pandemic,” said Chief Executive Officer Whitney Wolfe Herd, who, at 31, was the youngest woman to take a large company public in the U.S. as CEO. “Our IPO was a pivotal milestone, but we are just getting started and are excited for the next chapter of our journey.”
International expansion will be important to Bumble’s long-term prospects, said BMO analyst Daniel Salmon. Currently, the company’s two apps, Bumble and Badoo, are segmented by geography; Bumble’s primary user base is in North America and Badoo is focused on Europe. Revenue grew 47% on the Bumble app in the fourth quarter, far outpacing the 10.5% pace at Badoo.
Bumble’s women-centered approach has led to particular strength with female users. The Bumble app has an approximately 30% higher female user ratio compared to the rest of the North American market, according to company filings.
The company’s non-dating services, Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz, provide opportunity for growth, even though they aren’t currently monetized, Martino said. “These features are very nascent. But they’re interesting nonetheless. And, it can help with time spent on the app and engagement with Bumble.”
Bumble’s shares have gained 46% since its IPO, valuing the company at $11.6 billion. They gained about 5% after the results were announced, after closing at $62.91 Wednesday in New York.
(Corrects revenue figure in deck headline)