Dating app Bumble, which markets itself as empowering women by letting them make the first move, is the latest company to gear up for an initial public offering, eyeing a valuation of between $6 billion and $8 billion, Bloomberg first reported.
Bumble is preparing for an IPO in early 2021, and the company is seeking a valuation of between $6 billion and $8 billion, sources told Bloomberg.
While the dating app has been in talks with banks, no plans have been finalized and the timing of an IPO could still change.
The news comes about a year after the Blackstone Group bought a majority stake MagicLab, the parent company of Bumble, in a deal that valued the entire company at $3 billion.
MagicLab was originally founded in 2006 by Russian billionaire Andrey Andreev and includes other dating apps such as Badoo.
But he sold his majority stake to Blackstone following a Forbes investigation last year, which uncovered a toxic and misogynistic work environment at MagicLab’s London headquarters.
Whitney Wolfe Herd, an ex-Tinder executive who founded the Bumble app in 2014 with Andreev’s backing, took over as CEO of the entire company as part of the Blackstone deal.
Bumble is the latest startup to jump into the booming IPO market, which has seen a frenzy of activity in the second half of 2020. While IPOs were at a virtual standstill for much of the first half of the year because of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an influx of companies aiming to go public amid the stock market’s rebound in recent months. Recent filings from the likes of data analytics company Palantir Technologies and cloud-based data firm Snowflake underscore the rebound in the IPO market. Two weeks ago, home-sharing giant Airbnb became the latest big tech company to file paperwork for an IPO, paving the way for a potential public markets debut later in 2020. Among those who have successfully gone public in recent months are music label Warner Music Group and insurtech startup Lemonade.
What to watch for
Competition in the dating app business has continued to heat up in recent years. Bumble is a rival to Match Group, which has a market capitalization of $30 billion and a portfolio of dating apps like Tinder, Match and OkCupid. In February, Bloomberg reported that Match Group had approached another competitor, Meet Group, about a possible takeover. Even Facebook entered the fray earlier this year when it launched a new feature dubbed Dating.
Blackstone To Buy Russian Billionaire’s Bumble Stake After Forbes Investigation Into His Companies (Forbes)
Andrey Andreev, Owner Of Dating Apps Badoo And Bumble, Announces Investigation Into Allegations Of Toxic Office Culture (Forbes)
Exclusive Investigation: Sex, Drugs, Misogyny And Sleaze At The HQ Of Bumble’s Owner (Forbes)