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What’s going on?

Bumble’s finally ready to put itself out there: the women-go-first dating app is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) early next year.

What does this mean?

Bumble didn’t say how much money it plans on raising, but the IPO could, according to people in the know, value the company at an easy-on-the-eye $6-8 billion. That’s at least double the $3 billion that Bumble-parent MagicLab – which owns three other dating apps – was valued at last year when private equity firm Blackstone bought a majority stake in the company.

Bumble probably got all hot under the collar after the post-IPO success of its closest rival: Match Group – which owns Tinder, Match.com, and Hinge – has seen its stock price rise by more than 800% since its IPO five years ago. That’s cute, but Bumble’s probably hoping its differentiating feature – that women make the first move – will help it stand out from those other eligible suitors.

Why should I care?

For markets: Live, laugh, IPO.
Plenty of companies were forced to postpone their IPOs earlier this year, but now they’re looking to ride the US stock market’s huge post-lockdown recovery. That means Bumble is joining a parade of other tech hotties – including Doordash, Palantir, and Airbnb – that are all thinking about flaunting their assets on the IPO market (tweet this).

The bigger picture: Looking for something short-term.
Private equity firms like Blackstone use IPOs as a way to “exit” their investments in private companies and lock down the gains they’ve made on paper. That usually takes them a few years, but Blackstone’s planned exit from Bumble will come just a year after it first invested in the firm. That could be a sign of the weird times we live in: US tech stocks are up almost 40% this year, and it pays to strike while the going is good.

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