Written by Norman Isaac Mwambazi

Bumble’s IPO raises $2.2 Billion

Dating app Bumble collected $2.2 billion after increasing the size of its deal again and pricing above its expected range. …

Dating app Bumble collected $2.2 billion after increasing the size of its deal again and pricing above its expected range.

The Austin, Texas-headquartered company sold 50 million shares at $43 each, according to a statement. Bumble had initially filed to sell 34.5 million shares at $28 to $30 each that it boosted earlier this week to 45 million shares at $37 to $39 each.

Bumble started trading Thursday, February 10, 2021, on the Nasdaq under the symbol BMBL. Goldman Sachs (ticker: GS) and Citigroup (C) are underwriters on the deal. At $43 a share, Bumble will have an $8.3 billion market capitalization.

Bumble was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014, and she is the company’s current Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The start-up calls itself a “women-first” dating app because it allows women to make the first move. Women, once they match with someone, have 24 hours to start a conversation with their “target.”

Bumble operates two apps, Bumble and Badoo. More than 40 million users visit the apps each month to connect with new people. Bumble has 12.3 million monthly active users as of September 30, while Badoo has 28.4 million monthly active users, according to Sensor Tower data.

Blackstone Group (BX) acquired a majority stake in Bumble in November 2019 at a $3 billion valuation. After the IPO, Blackstone now owns 82.5% of combined voting power in Bumble while CEO Herd has 14.4%, according to the prospectus.

Whitney Wolfe Herd is not based in Silicon Valley. She does not have a STEM degree and she did not raise billions in venture capital. However, Wolfe Herd’s company, Bumble, is set to have one of the most high-profile technology IPOs of the year so far, in what will be a milestone moment not just for her business but also for female founders generally.

Trading at $43 on Wednesday evening, Bumble’s stock, signals strong investor demand in what’s proven to be a lofty market for newly public tech companies. Shares surged immediately upon trading, opening at $76, a 77% increase.

Wolfe Herd started her career at another dating service, Tinder. Bumble requires women searching for heterosexual matches to make the first move, the idea being that this feature would empower women to make their own choices.

The idea took off. Bumble has become a household name even as it competes in a crowded market for dating apps. It also now offers services beyond dating, including professional networking (Bumble Bizz) and finding new friends (Bumble BFF).