how-does-bumble-make-money

How Does Bumble Make Money? The Bumble Business Model In A Nutshell

Bumble is an American social media company with a core focus on online dating. Bumble drives revenue through the purchase of in-app services using its currency Bumble Coins and via subscriptions. Bumble generates revenues in a few key ways: Spotlight is Bumble’s answer to Tinder’s Boost capability. The Bumble Boost function allows users to swipe without daily limits or extend matches for up to 48 hours.

Origin Story

Bumble is an American social media company with a core focus on online dating. The company was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd, a former Tinder user who sued the platform for sexual discrimination and harassment in 2014.

As a result of media attention surrounding the case, the founder of the Russian dating app Badoo Andrey Andreev reached out to Heard. He proposed a new dating app using Badoo infrastructure and investment funds. Together, Heard and Andreev recruited fellow Tinder departees Sarah Mick and Chris Gulczynski to design the Bumble interface ready for launch in December 2014.

Bumble has since expanded to become more than just a dating app. Bumble BFF allows users to search for platonic friends, while Bumble Bizz focuses on business communication. In 2020, the platform reached 100 million users and is the second most popular platform in the U.S. after Tinder.

Understanding Bumble value proposition

In its financial prospectus Bumble highlighted:

Bumble was founded because we noticed two different, yet related issues in our society: antiquated gender norms, and a lack of kindness and accountability on the internet. We observed that women were often treated unequally in society, especially in romantic relationships. At the same time, social networks created possibilities for connections, but they were focused on connections with people you already know and lacked guardrails to encourage better behavior online.

Thus, as the company hihghlihgted the brand was built with the “women at the center.”

The Bumble tech platform emphasizes a design “to be safe and empowering for women, and, in turn, provides a better environment for everyone.”

Therefore, as the company highlights, the value proposition moves along few key values:

  • Meaningful Connections and Healthy Relationships.
  • Trust and Safety.
  • Innovative Features.
  • A Large, Growing, Engaged Community.

Understanding Bumble tech platform and product

The company operates two main products:

  • Bumble: launched in 2014, is one of the first dating apps built with women at the center. 
  • And Badoo: launched in 2006, one of the pioneers of web and mobile free-to-use dating products.
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The Bumble Timeline (Image Source: Bumble Financial Prospectus)

The users’ experience consist of three main paths/journeys:

Setting Up a Profile

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The platform has been designed to enable a straightforward set up and interaction
(Image Source: Bumble Financial Prospectus).

Matching

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The matching experience is a distinctive element of the platform and it’s engineered to empower women in the choice of a potential match
(Image Source: Bumble Financial Prospectus).

Chatting

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Bumble’s users must initiate a chat within 24 hours or the connection disappears
(Image Source: Bumble Financial Prospectus).

Premium Features

Bunble subscription offerings (Bumble Boost and Bumble Premium) enable a set of premium features like:

  • Beeline: a feature that shows you who likes you.
  • Rematch: enabling subscribers to rematch with any of the prior matches that have already expired after a 24-hour period.
  • Extend: access to an unlimited number of 24-hour extensions on conversations.

Other features can be enabled as in-app purchases:

  • SuperSwipe: to inform potential matches that they are confidently interested in them.
  • Spotlight: to advance their profile to the top of the list of potential matches.
  • Travel Mode: change location to anywhere in the world (thus opening up to new matches).
  • Backtrack: enabling users to undo a “no” vote to revisit potential matches.

Bumble revenue generation

It’s important to point out that the core features of Bumble are free to use. Users can swipe and match with interested parties without having to pay for the privilege.

Instead, Bumble drives revenue through the purchase of in-app services using its currency Bumble Coins.

Spotlight

Spotlight is Bumble’s answer to Tinder’s Boost capability.

Users can pay to have their profiles placed at the front of a match queue using Bumble coins.

The coins themselves are available for purchase within the app, with pricing depending on the country of the user and the number of coins purchased. In general, Bumble offers discounts for bulk purchases. In the United States, for example, 1 Bumble Coin costs $1.99 while 20 Bumble Coins can be had for $24.99.

Boost

The Bumble Boost function allows users to swipe without daily limits or extend matches for up to 48 hours. They can also instantly access those who have liked their profile and re-match with old connections.

Boost features are also purchased with Bumble Coins but on a more recurring basis. Using a subscription-based model, users can sign up to Boost for a week, month, three months, or a lifetime.

Again, prices depend on the region and the renewal frequency chosen. But Bumble can charge up to $25/month for this premium membership.

Badoo ownership

In 2020, Bumble replaced MagicLab as the parent company of both Bumble and Badoo.

Therefore it is not unreasonable to suggest that Bumble makes a significant amount of money from Badoo – which is also a popular dating platform with a similar business model.

Badoo is the world’s most widely used dating network, operating in 190 countries with over 400 million registered users.

Key takeaways:

  • Bumble is a social media dating company co-founded by former Tinder user Whitney Wolfe Herd and Badoo founder Andrey Andreev.
  • The Bumble app works on a freemium model. However, users can unlock additional features using Bumble Coins, either through one-off purchases or a subscription model.
  • In 2020, Bumble also became the parent company of Badoo – the world’s most popular online dating service with a similar business model.

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Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which reached over a million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get The FourWeekMBA Flagship Book "100+ Business Models"