Bumble valued at $ 8.2 billion as investors fall in love with the dating app

Bumble, the online dating company, received a warm welcome from Wall Street on Wednesday, where he priced shares in an IPO above their marketed range and valued the company at more than $ 8 billion.

Bumble – whose properties include Badoo, which is popular with European match-seekers, as well as the eponymous app – sold shares at $ 43 per share. Piece, which raised $ 2.2 billion. From investors.

As a sign of the high demand for new technology companies, Bumble increased the number of shares it sold on Wednesday, while exceeding the expected price range of $ 37 to $ 39.

The listing will be a milestone for Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, who has fought against competitors while fighting for a policy that requires women to “take the first step” in the app.

It could also increase competition between Bumble and its dominant industry competitor Match Group, which owns Tinder, OKCupid and Match.com and is already listed in the United States.

The offering marks a quick turnaround for Bumble, which sold a majority stake to Blackstone in 2019 in a deal of approx. $ 3 billion. At the IPO, the company would have a market value of $ 8.2 billion. Based on the total number of shares outstanding.

IPO archiving revealed that Wolfe Herd received $ 125 million. in proceeds as part of the Blackstone transaction as well as a loan granted by the company, which was later settled as part of an apparent compensation scheme.

The company said it planned to use the proceeds of the offering extensively to repurchase shares from owners prior to the IPO and repay debt. Bumble’s private owners will retain about 97 percent of the company’s voting rights after the offering.

The competition is intensifying among the largest companies offering dating apps. On Tuesday, Match announced that it had acquired South Korean video chat company Hyperconnect for $ 1.7 billion. In a move that expands its portfolio further to Asia.

Bumble has previously charged Match several attempts to buy, clone and “scare” the company before both parties last year settled several tit-for-tat lawsuits over allegations of patent infringement and theft of trade secrets.

Separately, Bumble faces competition from Facebook, the world’s largest social media company, which began rolling out its own dating product in 2019.

Youssef Squali, head of Internet and digital media research at Truist Securities, said that while Match had built a strong portfolio of apps across a range of “niches”, consumers tended to use multiple dating apps at once.

“The market is large enough to accommodate more success stories,” Squali said. “It’s not an ‘either’ or ‘situation.’

Bumble reported that it swung to a loss of $ 117 million. In the first nine months of last year at a turnover of $ 417 million, as revenue growth slowed. The company said the transaction costs were recognized in the losses.

Goldman Sachs and Citigroup acted as principal insurers on Bumble’s offerings.

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