Friday, June 18, 2021

Co-founder of Bumble becomes the world’s youngest billionaire thanks to the IPO

Whitney Wolf-Heard ended Thursday with a net worth of $ 1.5 billion according to Bumble’s stock closing at $ 70.31 Updated at 7 p.m. ET.

The initial public offering
The stock price of Bumble Dating rose in its first public offering on Thursday, making the founder and CEO of 31-year-old Whitney Wolf-Heard the youngest self-made billionaire in the world. Its 12% stake in the company was valued at nearly $ 1.6 billion as of 12:40 p.m. ET Thursday.
Bumble Corporation’s stock opened trading at $ 76 a share, which is well above the IPO price of $ 43 a share. The company began its first trading hours after the markets opened on Thursday.

Wolfheard owns 21.54 million shares in Bumble, equivalent to 11.6% of the company, according to the Bumble IPO prospectus. Wolf-Heard is also the youngest CEO ever to lead a company in the United States to go public.
Bumble is the second major dating app to go public, after the public offering of Match Group, the parent company of Match.com, in 2015. The Match Group attempted to buy the company from Wolf Heard in 2017 for $ 450 million. Bumble’s market cap was at $ 8.6 billion based on $ 76 a share early Thursday afternoon. Match group has a market value of $ 45 billion, which also owns the dating app Tinder.

Bumble recorded revenues of $ 417 million in the first nine months of 2020, up from $ 363 million in revenue for the corresponding period in 2019. The Match Group recorded revenues of $ 1.7 billion in the first nine months of 2020 versus 1.5 billion. Dollars in the same period of the previous year. The Austin company raised $ 2.2 billion from its IPO. The company will use most of the money raised to buy or redeem shares from the company’s owners prior to the IPO, especially Blackstone Private Equity, which owned about 91% of the company prior to the offering, and Wolf Heard. The prospectus also shows a $ 120 million loan, which the company provided to Wolf Heard in January 2020, which was settled a year later in exchange for Wolf-Heard ceding $ 95.5 million of Bumble’s shares.

Bumble app
Wolf-Heard founded Bumble in 2014, shortly after she filed a lawsuit against Tinder, her former employer, for sexual harassment. Wolf-Heard in the lawsuit alleged that her former boss and boyfriend, Justin Mattin, had sent her threats and derogatory texts and stripped her of the title of the co-founder of the Tinder app. The app denied any wrongdoing, and the case was settled quickly and discreetly.

After leaving Tinder, Wolf-Heard worked with the London-based Russian billionaire Andrei Andreev, who was building successful online dating apps to work in the European and Latin American markets, to start the Bumble app. Bumble gives women the exclusive power to take the first step, a factor that sets it apart from Tinder and other online dating apps.

Andreev exited his investment in the company in November 2019, four months after Forbes published an investigation that discovered an anti-women atmosphere in the London office, led by Andreev, to put his presence in conflict with the app’s slogan on empowering women.
The company denied the majority of the allegations and launched an internal investigation led by British law firm Doyle Clayton, which concluded that “the main allegation made by the Forbes article that there is currently an anti-women atmosphere in the London office is untrue. However, the investigation identified a small number of current and former employees Who feel that there are “sexist elements” in the company.

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