Bumble (BMBL 3.62%) stock has gone essentially nowhere since the company raised $2.2 billion via its IPO in February. Investors are very skeptical of the company's prospects, and I don't blame them. At first glance, there are just way too many dating apps to choose from -- competition is only increasing.
But Bumble stock has a lot more honey in the bee hive than one can see from the outside. In fact, it has multiple tailwinds to drive up its undervalued share price. Let's take a look at why opening a big stake in the tech stock could pay off handsomely down the line.
Bumble's value proposition
Bumble changed the rules of the dating game with a small tweak -- allowing only women to take the lead and make the first move after a match. The change may be small, but its effects are significant. First of all, such a setup allows women to avoid the hassle of dealing with unsolicited direct messages, thereby improving the platform's overall safety. Second, it allows women and men to reverse the roles typically expected of them in traditional dating environments.
Last year, Bumble's namesake app and its dating-oriented social network, Badoo, surpassed 100 million users, ranking it just below dating conglomerate Match Group's Tinder app.
But Bumble also has another feature, its BFF (best friends forever) offering for those seeking friendship (without benefits). In the first quarter this year, user engagement on Bumble BFF was up 83% for men and 44% for women compared to the same period last year. The feature is perfect for those looking to sharpen their social skills and connect with new people after pandemic lockdowns.
Primed for growth
Bumble's market cap is right around $9 billion as of this writing, not much when compared to its outstanding growth potential as investing in the stock could be like buying Match in its early days (Match is now a $45 billion company).
Bumble is catching up big time, reaching 21.4% market share as of April 30 (the second-biggest in the country), about half of Tinder's market share of 46.3%. During the first quarter of 2021, its revenue grew 43% year over year to $170.7 million. Its total paid user count also increased 30% to 2.8 million. Like all mid-stage growth companies, Bumble is operating at a loss for the sake of ongoing investments and innovation.
Speaking of the last part -- Bumble is taking an approach that is drastically different than all of its peers. On July 24, the company will open its first all-day, orange, bee-hive-themed Bumble Brew cafe and wine bar, conveniently located at the heart of lower Manhattan. Before the pandemic, the company launched pop-up shared workplaces across major cities known as "Bumble Hives" to connect users in person and expand the reach of its brand.
Bumble stock is an attractive buy at the moment. Though shares trade at eight times revenue, growth has been impressive. When Match first went public in 2015, short-sellers and analysts alike took a bearish tone on the company, citing "limited growth opportunities." However, they failed to account for Tinder's international expansion, which easily offset any limits on growth in North America.
I believe the same will happen to Bumble. In fact, the story is already in motion. The app is rapidly gaining traction in India where it amassed four million out of a total of 31 million dating app users in the country as of mid-2020 (and double the user count from the end of 2019). The company is even partnering with Bollywood actresses to promote its app.
Overall, due to its high scalability, international expansion, reasonable valuation, and promising new ventures, Bumble is the kind of stock that can form a pillar of your portfolio. And I wouldn't be surprised if the company eclipses its rivals in the not-so-distant future.