Bumble – the bright, colorful dating app – has been making headlines as long as it’s been around. Unlike other dating apps, it permitted only women to initiate communication. This made it unique and allowed it to carve out a niche within the plethora of dating apps available on the market. After the company’s recent IPO, Founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd – in her early 30s – is the youngest self-made woman billionaire to take a company public. With well over 40M active users, a steady recurring revenue stream, and mounds of positive PR driven by backing from prominent investors like Serena Williams, the 2021 Bumble IPO was successful by any metric. What made the IPO a success, and what should Bumble’s business strategy be going forward?
Why Was Bumble’s IPO Successful?
As a tech company with a fast-growing user base and increasing revenue per user, Bumble was well-positioned for an IPO. Bumble had also carved out a profitable niche in the online dating marketplace as a woman-focused brand. When considering that online dating is thought to be recession-proof and highly profitable, it becomes clear why the Bumble IPO was set up for success. The icing on the cake was the backing of such prominent figures as Serena Williams. This helped build awareness and momentum around the company’s future potential.
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What Should Bumble’s Strategy Be Now?
Moving forward, it will be important for Bumble to maintain growth in both its user base and revenue per user. But any Bumble strategy that forgets about what drove its initial success would be a mistake. And what was that? Bumble is an online dating app that puts women first. By requiring women to initiate conversations, it cut down on much of the toxic behavior that women often experienced on an app that competes with the likes of Tinder.
Since Bumble’s successful beginning, it has monetized its service by moving beyond membership plans and in-app perks. The company has a revised focus on helping people make connections beyond just dating. The same woman who used Bumble to find a boyfriend can now use the app to explore new friendships (Bumble BFF) or conduct professional networking with other women (Bumble Bizz). Bumble can now leverage its brand power to expand its offerings into other areas such as motherhood, physical fitness, and more. While some see this as a dilution of Bumble’s product, in our view, it increases the stickiness and potential value of each new user.
Bumble is a tech company that is well-positioned for continued growth. As long as Bumble holds to its strategy of solving real problems experienced by women in the dating/connection space, we see a bright future for it. The Bumble IPO was an indicator of what the future may hold for the company.
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