- Investment group Blackstone holds majority stake in Bumble
- Bumble saw a surge in video calling and messaging during the pandemic
- Goldman Sachs, Citi and Morgan Stanley are advising Bumble on the listing
Dating app Bumble, where women make the first move, is planning its initial public offering in the first quarter of 2021 at a possible valuation of $6 billion to $8 billion, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.
The company is working with Goldman Sachs and Citigroup for its IPO, with Morgan Stanley also advising on the listing, the sources said.
Investment firm Blackstone Group bought a majority share in Bumble in 2019, valuing the company at about $3 billion. It operates in a competitive space filled with rivals like Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge and Match, all of whom are owned by Match Group.
After an initial struggle at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, dating apps have reported good performances in the past few months. Adapting to the new normal, companies have overhauled their features.
Despite the limitations caused by the coronavirus, virtual dating has managed to flourish. Bumble reported a 26% increase in messages exchanged on the app in the early months of the pandemic.
Bumble has a few new features, including one that allows users to add badges to their profiles, which signifies what kind of dates they’re comfortable with, such as virtual dates, socially distanced dates or socially distanced dates with masks.
Bumble was founded in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd. While its main focus is online dating, the app also giving users the opportunity to create a professional network and find new friends. The company owns other apps, including Badoo, a popular dating social network with headquarters in London.
Herd, 30, started her career with Bumble’s main rival, Tinder. She is now the chief executive officer of Bumble’s parent company, MagicLab, which also launched other dating apps such as Chappy and Lumen. MagicLab’s founder and former CEO, Andrey Andreev, stepped down from his position in 2019 after multiple sexual assault allegations.