With a reported acquisition on the table, Bumble is flirting with becoming Austin tech's next billion-dollar unicorn.
The company's women-first approach to online dating has grown a user base of more than 22 million people in three years, led by the efforts of CEO and founder Whitney Wolfe Herd.
In August, news spread that Herd had rejected a $450 million buyout of Bumble from the Match Group, which owns a handful of dating apps including OkCupid and Tinder.
After recovering from the initial rejection, the Match Group returned this fall with an offer that puts Bumble’s valuation north of $1 billion, according to a recent Forbes article. TechCrunch seemed to back up that news up as well, verifying the offer with sources close to the company.
Herd has not commented on the offer, nor have representatives from the Match Group, but as the article in Forbes reports, the buyout would be a delicious end to a tumultuous story that began with Herd’s departure from Tinder.
While the certainty of the deal remains unclear, the ongoing discussion and larger offer speak toward the success of Bumble — and Match’s seriousness to acquire it.
The Forbes article notes that Bumble is projected to accumulate more than $100 million in sales this year, driven in part by a 10 percent of its user base who pay $9.99 monthly for a premium subscription. In 2018, Bumble is likely to double its annual earnings, fueled by the support of niche, localized advertising.
Bumble’s growth led to a new office headquarters off North Lamar, playfully nicknamed “The Hive,” in August. The startup now has 70 employees, 85 percent of whom are women, with a majority located locally.