Dating giant Badoo is the majority owner of one of online dating’s brightest startups – Bumble.
Although it was commonly known that Badoo & its founder Andrey Andreev had a hand in Bumble, the full extent was not known until recently, when a company filing came to light.
The official document – filed under the startup’s UK registered company name, Bumble Holding LTD – shows the equity breakdown of the business.
It reveals that Badoo actually owns a massive 79% of the company, with Bumble founder & CEO Whitney Wolfe owning 20%, and Bumble’s other founders, ex-Tinder employees Chris Gulczynski & Sarah Mick, sharing the remaining 1%.
In a statement to TechCrunch, who spotted the document, Whitney Wolfe said: “Badoo and Bumble are separate companies. Andrey Andreev, via Badoo, invested in Bumble as a startup.
“As is well publicized and documented, Andrey Andreev and Whitney Wolfe decided to partner on a new company in 2014. Badoo invested in this new project – the new project became Bumble.”
The project began after Wolfe’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Tinder was settled – for a reported $1m – with Andreev persuading Wolfe not to quit the dating industry, but instead enter into partnership on a new mobile rival to Tinder.
And while this fact was widely known within the industry, the extent of Badoo’s involvement was not, and this recent news reveals that Bumble is interestingly in a similar position to that of Tinder.
IAC is the majority owner of Tinder, with Barry Diller recently saying that his company owns “over 60%, but under 95%” of the mobile dating phenomenon.
And just like Tinder’s relationship with its owner, Wolfe said that Bumble & Badoo’s partnership is “strategic”, allowing the dating startup to use the “wealth of experience” Badoo has in the dating industry.
In addition, and as with IAC & Tinder, the partnership also means that Bumble doesn’t need to raise funding.
This allows the brand to scale much quicker, with its team able to focus their attention on product, growth & user acquisition, while also having the support of Badoo’s infrastructure – a package that Wolfe described as “invaluable”.
And despite the fact that Bumble is more independent from Badoo than Tinder is from The Match Group, this relationship has clearly helped the app grow so rapidly in little over a year – with the startup now boasting 3.5m users, having created a strong brand & quickly cementing its reputation as one of Tinder’s main rivals.
Bumble recently launched an interesting new friend-finding feature on the mobile platform called BFF – letting users search for platonic friends, as well as romantic interests.
Find out more about the feature here.