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Match Group Makes an Offer to Acquire Bumble

Match.com
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Online dating corporation Match Group was reported to have made an offer to purchase dating app Bumble for $450 million this summer, according to a report by website Tech Crunch.

Match Group is the parent company to a number of dating apps, including popular Bumble competitors Match, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid and Tinder. It seems Bumble hasn’t accepted the offer, which is understandable since some analysts value the company at almost a billion dollars.

Bumble has a rocky history with Match Group as well, which could play a part in any decision about an acquisition. Bumble’s founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe sued Tinder and IAC in 2014, (when Match Group was a part of IAC). Wolfe was one of the co-founders of Tinder, and brought a sexual harassment lawsuit against her ex-boyfriend Justin Mateen, who also happened to be one of Tinder’s co-founders and the CMO. Wolfe accused him of sending her “sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails, and text messages” following their very public breakup. The two parties settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, with neither side admitting any wrongdoing.

Bumble took the dating world by storm when it launched a few years ago after the lawsuit was settled, gaining one million members in the first year. What set it apart from dozens of other apps launching at the same time was its female-friendly focus. While both men and women could swipe to connect with each other, only the women were allowed to make the first move and message the guys over the app. In other words, Bumble intended to make it a better experience for women by putting them in charge, so they could avoid harassing messages and guys just looking for hookups – something that had been missing in online dating.

Reportedly, the app now has over 18 million registered users, no small feat for a dating app to achieve. In the past year, the company has also opened a physical shop, where Bumble members can gather for events and get to know each other IRL.

The female-friendly dating app has also been on the cutting edge of creating a full social experience for users of the app. Bumble launched Bumble BFF to help people meet new friends with similar interests, and Bumble Biz which connects job seekers with potential employers. And the company is looking to make money, too, with added paid features for Bumble users who want more options on the free app.

Forbes first reported on the acquisition deal, and it was confirmed by two independent sources, according to Tech Crunch.