- Rapidly growing profitable dating app company Bumble is now valued at $3 billion following a deal with Blackstone
Bumble — a rapidly growing profitable dating app company — is now valued at $3 billion. To make this happen, Badoo founder Andrey Andreev sold his stake in Bumble parent company MagicLab to private equity firm Blackstone. And Andreev is going to step down from the company.
In Bumble, women make the first move in the dating app. The company generates revenue through a monthly subscription fee and it has been reported that Bumble made $162 million last year alone.
Going forward, Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd will become the CEO of the whole company and will retain most of her stake in the business of about 19%. Blackstone is also going to make an investment in MagicLab as part of the deal.
“This transaction is an incredibly important and exciting moment for Bumble and the MagicLab group of brands and team members. Blackstone is world-class at maximizing the success of entrepreneur-led companies, which presents a tremendous opportunity. We are very excited to build the next chapter with them,” said Wolfe Herd. “I am honored to take on the role of CEO of the group. I will strive to lead the group with a continued values-based and mission-first focus, the same one that has been core to Bumble since I founded the company five years ago. We will keep working towards our goal of recalibrating gender norms and empowering people to connect globally, and now at a much faster pace with our new partner.”
MagicLab’s suite of brands has been used by over 500 million around the world across dating, social, and business.
“We’re excited to invest in MagicLab, which is a pioneer in the fast-growing online dating industry. They have a highly talented team and strong set of platforms, including Bumble, which was built on a commitment to inclusion and female empowerment. This partnership is a perfect example of Blackstone’s ability to use its scale, long-term investment horizon, and deep bench of operational resources to help entrepreneurs take advantage of transformational growth opportunities in order to create global industry leaders over time,” added Jon Korngold, Head of Blackstone Growth (BXG).
Several years ago, Badoo reportedly turned down an offer somewhere in the ballpark of $450 million and $1 billion from Match. Match owns Tinder — which is a dating app co-founded by Wolfe Herd. Herd’s departure from Tinder was controversial and it involved multiple lawsuits. The lawsuits were quickly settled, but the parties were barred from talking about the case.
Badoo reportedly considered going public. But Forbes staff writer Angel Au-Yeung conducted an exclusive investigation into Badoo and uncovered a “misogynistic atmosphere” after speaking with female staff. This would not have looked good for potential shareholders. By striking a deal with Blackstone and having Wolfe Herd at the helm, Badoo/Bumble could likely see an IPO sometime in the near future. And I would not be surprised if the Badoo name phases out in favor of MagicLab or Bumble as the parent company name.
“Blackstone presented MagicLab with a great opportunity to further develop the brands and platform, and I am confident Blackstone will take MagicLab to the next level in terms of growth and expansion. I am incredibly proud of the company, and of how we have connected millions of people around the world,” explained Andreev. “At MagicLab, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best and most talented entrepreneurs. My aim now is to ensure a smooth and successful transition before I embark on a new business venture in search of innovative leaders with new and exciting ideas. I am grateful for all the support of my partners and employees over the years as we couldn’t have gotten to this point without them. I wish MagicLab and Blackstone every success.”
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