Match Group, the parent company of a variety of dating apps, offered to acquire Bumble for $450 million over the summer, according to sources close to the deal.
A source close to the company suggests that Bumble is valued at over $1 billion.
The sources independently confirm reporting from Forbes about the deal earlier this summer.
Bumble reportedly has 18 million registered users, and has facilitated more than 1 billion matches since its launch. Match Group, meanwhile, is the parent company for apps like Tinder, PlentyOfFish, OkCupid, HowAboutWe, and of course, Match.com.
Given Bumble’s growth — the app reached 1 million users within a year of launch — the app seems like a reasonable target for Match Group’s growing portfolio of dating/matching services. Bumble has also been known to be forward thinking when it comes to building community around a dating app – for example the startup opened a physical space in New York this summer to serve as a place for matches to meet up IRL.
However, there’s some odd irony in Match’s offer to Bumble given that the two companies haven’t always existed in e-harmony.
Back in 2014, when Match Group was a branch of IAC, now-Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe sued Tinder and IAC for sexual harassment and sexual discrimination. The complaint alleged that then-Tinder CMO Justin Mateen subjected Wolfe to numerous “sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails, and text messages” during her time at the company as VP of Marketing and cofounder, which followed a break-up between Mateen and Wolfe.
Tinder/IAC and Wolfe settled the lawsuit out of court, with no admission of wrongdoing on either side.
In December 2014, Wolfe (with investment from Badoo founder Andrey Andreev) recruited Tinder cofounder Chris Gulczynski and Tinder’s former VP of Design Sarah Mick to launch a new app called Bumble. The idea behind Bumble was simple, and a subtle throwing of shade at her past place of work: On Bumble, women are the pursuers. Both men and women can swipe right at their leisure, but only women can initiate the conversation, putting them in the driver’s seat of their romantic digital endeavors. Badoo and Andreev would later acquire a majority stake in Bumble.
Since, Bumble has gone on to launch BumbleBFF (a service to help people meet new friends) and BumbleBizz (which helps professionals find their next job), alongside the introduction of monetization with paid features.
In response to a request for comment, Match said “we don’t comment on rumors and speculation”. Bumble declined to comment.