American news site AXIOS has reported, from multiple anonymous sources, that Bumble is in talks for its first round of VC funding.
Accel Growth is named as one potential investor. The firm supported Facebook’s Series A, seeded Slack, and was involved in the early backing for Dropbox. Neither Bumble nor Accel provided comment to AXIOS.
Umbrella Badoo reportedly met with investors first, but the VCs are said to have expressed a specific interest in Whitney Wolfe Herd’s startup.
There have long been talks of Bumble expanding via an IPO. In October, Andrey Andreev confirmed that “deep discussions” were underway with banks including JP Morgan, and that the listing would be on the NASDAQ.
Analyst Ray Wang told Cheddar in December that Bumble may be waiting for a $1.1 billion to $1.5 billion valuation before going public. This latest news, however, may indicate that other options are now being prioritised.
The women-first dating app is making its own forays into venture funding with Bumble Fund, headed up by COO Sarah Jones Simmer. Female-led startups only received 2% of venture capital in 2017, so Bumble is hoping to redress the balance.
Investments made by Bumble Fund include Gixo, an on-demand fitness platform that “turns phones into virtual gyms”, and Promise, a criminal justice startup looking to reduce recidivism rates through tracking court appearances and other metrics.
This week, tennis icon Serena Williams joined Bumble Fund as an investor. She said in a statement: “I am passionate about (…) opening doors for women of all backgrounds, especially women of color, to share their message and trust in their potential to accomplish great things.”
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