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Will Investors Feel the Love? Bumble Files for IPO

By Danny Vena - Jan 15, 2021 at 8:06PM

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The online dating app has a link to Tinder.

Popular online dating app Bumble has filed a preliminary S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in preparation for its initial public offering (IPO). The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange using the ticker symbol BMBL.

Since this is an initial filing, Bumble hasn't yet divulged how much it hopes to raise, how many shares it will offer, or when shares will begin trading.

Flames forming a heart.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company was founded by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, who is also Bumble's CEO. The company's board -- which is made up of 71% women -- is also attracting a lot of investor attention. This shouldn't be surprising, as the Bumble app's female-centric features require women to make the first move. The filing notes, "We believe that we have the potential to become a preeminent global women's brand."

The company's two dating apps, Bumble and Badoo, are two of the highest-grossing online dating mobile apps in the world. They are among the top-five-grossing iOS lifestyle apps in 30 and 89 countries, respectively, the company said, citing data from Sensor Tower. The apps boasted a combined total of 42 million monthly active users to close out the third quarter, resulting in 2.4 million paying customers. 

For the nine months ended Sep. 30, 2020, Bumble reported revenue of $416.6 million, up nearly 15% year over year, slowing significantly from 36% growth in 2019. At the same time, the company went from profits to losses during the first nine months of last year, generating a loss of roughly $117 million, worsening from a gain of $69 million in the prior-year period. 

There were two other notable issues in Bumble's filing. The company admitted to a material weakness in its internal controls related to its financial reporting, though Bumble is working to rectify the issue. Additionally, the company earns some revenue from online advertising and noted that Apple's (AAPL -5.64%) decision to let users opt out of ad-tracking might stunt Bumble's future growth. 

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