original_title] | #bumble | #tinder | #pof

Bumble Inc.’s

BMBL -0.72%

sales climbed in the latest quarter, driven by an increase in paying users for its dating apps as people spend more time online due to the pandemic.

The Austin, Texas, company said fourth-quarter revenue surged 31% to $165.6 million, ahead of analysts’ consensus estimates of $163.3 million.

Revenue from the Bumble app increased 47% to $105.8 million while revenue from Badoo, a dating-focused social network popular in Europe and Latin America, rose 11% to $59.8 million.

Total paying users across its dating apps increased to 2.7 million, up about 33% from the prior year, the company said. Average revenue per paying user, a key metric, was $20.02 for the December quarter, up from $19.99 in the same period last year.

The company expects revenue this year of around $716 million to $726 million. In 2020, it made $542.2 million in revenue.

Shares rose roughly 6.7% in after-hours trading on Wednesday after closing at $62.91 a share. Bumble went public last month in an offering priced at $43 a share.

The company said its outlook takes a cautious approach in factoring pent-up demand from people who have limited most social interactions during the pandemic.

“The entire globe has gone through an incredibly lonely period,” founder and Chief Executive Officer

Whitney Wolfe Herd

said on a call. “We believe that that digital-first approach lives on in a post-pandemic world,” she said.

Ms. Wolfe Herd started Bumble in 2014 to turn the traditional dating dynamic on its head. Bumble was created as a digital platform where women make the first move on men. The app also has an option for users seeking people of the same sex.

Ms. Wolfe Herd had earlier co-founded

Match Group Inc.’s

Tinder. She has said she saw the problems with archaic dating rules and sought to change them.

Bumble joins rival Match, which also owns dating apps Hinge and OkCupid, on the public market. Match unsuccessfully tried to acquire Bumble, and it later sued Bumble in 2018 for infringing patents for “swiping” and other features that have made Tinder popular.

The company also reported higher costs and expenses in the quarter compared with the year-earlier quarter. Bumble swung to a loss of $26.1 million for the fourth quarter, compared with a profit of $17.2 million in the comparable period a year earlier. The company had a 1 cent-a-share loss.

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the March 11, 2021, print edition as ‘Rising Use Of Dating Apps Lifts Bumble.’

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