February 11, 2021
Bumble's big date with public markets went off without a hitch.
The dating app, known for letting female users make the first move, opened on the Nasdaq at $76 per share on Thursday afternoon in one of the biggest IPOs of the year so far.
With the retail trading frenzy still ripping through Wall Street, expectations were high for a tech offering featuring a popular digital brand, which raised $2.2 billion in the initial offering.
Tariq Shaukat, president of Bumble ($BMBL), said the company is looking beyond day-to-day investment trends to use the money for debt repayment, acquisitions, and global expansion.
"We have been strong in the U.S., UK, a number of other markets around the world, but we think we're just getting started," Shaukat told Cheddar.
Badoo, a dating social network also owned by Bumble, is one of the top three lifestyle apps in the IOS App Store in 59 countries, according to Shaukat. The goal is to grow that number as well as the types of products that Bumble has on offer.
The company plans to expand two non-dating products, including Bumble BFF, an app for forming platonic friendships, and Bumble Bizz, an app for building business relationships.
"As we think about new categories, we're really looking at how we expand our mission of helping people build healthy and equitable relationships into not just romantic relationships but also platonic relationships, business relationships," Shaukat said.
He added that about 9 percent of Bumble's 12 million monthly active users use BFF.
One force behind the uptick is the coronavirus pandemic, which Shaukat said has been a boon for Bumble and dating apps in general. In many ways, he said, user's habits are changing.
"There are some things about dating in the pandemic that people are starting to like," he said. "The idea of meeting somebody on a dating app and not really knowing them at all and going out to a coffee shop or a bar and meeting them for the first time is losing its appeal."
Instead, Bumble users are adopting what he calls "slow-dating," which basically means relationships are developing longer online via text, audio, and video before the big in-person meeting. Based on user feedback, Bumble is anticipating this trend to continue post-pandemic.
Though the executive expressed excitement about Bumble's warm reception on the stock market, he stressed how the app takes seriously its role in helping people form relationships.
"We have a pandemic of loneliness in addition to the coronavirus pandemic, and so we are doing our best to look past the day-to-day on the stock market and really build for the future," he also told Cheddar.
Bumble's shares slid slightly to $70 at the close.