Bumble, the dating and friendship service designed with women in mind, is set to go public in the next few days.
The company initially filed for an IPO a little over three weeks ago and plans to list itself on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol, BMBL.
Back in September, Bloomberg reported that Bumble began talking with banks and planned to go public in early 2021. At the time, it was also reported that the company sought out a valuation of $100 million, but Bloomberg said it could actually seek anywhere between $6 billion and $8 billion.
The company later filed its IPO paperwork confidentially, according to private sources last December.
Bumble announced last week that it planned to raise as much as $1 billion from its IPO. Additionally, it said that it would price the range of its 34.5 million shares between $28 and $30 each. As of Monday, though, the company said that it would raise those prices to between $37 and $39.
A Win For Women Founders
The news of Bumble going public marks a milestone for women-owned companies and women founders.
Bumble was founded in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd, one of the co-founders of Tinder. After leaving Tinder due to growing tensions and a sexual harassment lawsuit she filed against them, Herd wanted to create an app that focused on creating a safe space for women and combating online harassment.
When Bumble goes public, Herd will join a small group of female executives. The company will have a female chair and eight women on its 11-member board, which the Washington Post reports as “a figure rarely seen in corporate boardrooms.”
Freada Kapor Klein, a diversity activist and venture capitalist, calls the Bumble IPO both interesting and encouraging because “obviously it’s a woman founder and CEO.”
“What’s also very important, as I see it,” she said, “is it’s a female-focused product.”
On Bumble, women have the power to take control of their matches. For heterosexual matches, they have 24 hours to message with any match they have, whereas with same-sex matches, either party can make the first move. If a message is not sent within this period, the match disappears.
The app skyrocketed after its launch, coming in second to Tinder over the last few years. Following its success, the company expanded from dating to friendships with the creation of BumbleBFF in 2016; this addition to the app allows women to use BFF Mode to find friends to connect with, using the same swipe feature as its dating counterpart.
Bumble announced Bumble Bizz in 2017. This networking component allows women to “swipe right” on potential professional connections within their respective industries and careers.
As of today, the Blackstone Group owns a majority stake of Bumble, valued at around $3 billion. Last year, the Bumble app reached 100 million users since it’s launch in 2014. Additionally, at the time of its IPO filing last month, Bumble reported having a network of 42 million monthly active users and 2 million paying users.