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When the markets don't show you enough love, there's always the romance of France.
Dating app firm Bumble, whose shares have been mired in as much listless searching as the protagonists of nouvelle vague cinema, has picked up a fresh new companion. On Monday, it announced its very first acquisition: the Gen Z-centric French app Fruitz.
For the Love of Money
Bumble's eponymous platform is the number two dating app in the world after rival Match's Tinder, and sets itself apart by ceding conversation-starting rights to women rather than overeager guys. Fruitz – a hit among young adults in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland -- stands out by allowing users to choose one of four animated pieces of fruit to symbolize what they're looking for, from a serious relationship to an ami with benefits.
The terms of the Fruitz deal were undisclosed, but its purpose is crystal clear: for however many millions of connections Bumble has made, its relationship with investors has been on the rocks of late. And the company's portfolio is lacking next to Match, which data firm Apptopia predicts will see double-digit growth on Tinder through May while Bumble remains close to flat:
- Bumble's highly anticipated IPO last year was followed by a quick pop and then a steady decline -- the company's shares are down over 60% since its February 2021 debut.
- Match owns over a dozen apps--headlined by Tinder's $1.7 billion revenue last year--while Bumble owns just two, and its flagship app was on pace to bring in about $510 million in 2021.
No Guarantees: Match's apps, which include Japan's top dating app Pairs and the rapidly growing long-term relationship app Hinge, are growing faster than Bumble's. But acquisitions alone haven't been enough to convince investors that dating apps are worth trading at multiples of their revenue. Despite spending $1.7 billion on its biggest ever acquisition for South Korea's Hyperconnect days before Bumble's IPO, Match's shares have fallen nearly a third since Bumble's IPO as the company keeps searching for that special bull-run.