Shares in dating app Bumble soar in first day of trading on Nasdaq

Shares in the dating app Bumble have soared by more than 76% in its stock market debut in New York, giving the company a $14bn (£10.1bn) valuation.

The shares opened at $76 (£55) on the Nasdaq on Thursday, well above the initial public offering price of $43.

Bumble, which is backed by the private equity firm Blackstone, joins the ranks of Snowflake, Airbnb and DoorDash, all of which had strong first das when they debuted last year.

Based in Austin, Texas, Bumble was founded in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd, a co-founder of rival app Tinder, which she left earlier that year.

Wolfe Herd had sued Tinder alleging that her co-founders subjected her to sexual harassment. Tinder’s parent company, Match Group, which denied the allegations, paid about $1m to settle the dispute.

In 2018, a court battle took place after Bumble rejected a $450m acquisition offer from Match. Match had filed a lawsuit against Bumble, alleging intellectual property infringement.

But Bumble counter-sued two weeks later, accusing Match of fraud and trade secrets theft. Both lawsuits were later dropped that same year.

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In 2019, Blackstone paid about $3bn to acquire a majority stake in MagicLab, which owned the Bumble and Badoo apps at the time, from the founder, Andrey Andreev. Wolfe Herd was named Bumble’s chief executive officer after the deal.

Stellar first-day trading gains such as those for Bumble are likely to fuel criticism from some venture capitalists, including Benchmark’s Bill Gurley, who has argued that investment banks underprice offerings so their investor clients can win big in first trades.

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Some investors have also pushed companies to consider direct listing, where bankers have little influence on the price at which the stock is sold.


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