Private equity group Blackstone is taking a majority stake in Magic Labs, the parent company of dating app Bumble, valuing it at $3 billion. As part of the deal, Bumble founder and chief executive Whitney Wolfe Herd, will become CEO of MagicLab. Current CEO Andrey Andreev will be departing.
MagicLab was founded in 2006 and holds a bevy of dating apps including Badoo, Chappy, and Lumen. Including Bumble, all four properties together reach about 500 million people. Blackstone is putting in a “multibillion-dollar investment,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
“I am honored to take on the role of CEO of the group,” Wolfe Herd said in a statement. “I will strive to lead the group with a continued values-based and mission-first focus, the same one that has been core to Bumble since I founded the company five years ago.” Her company, Bumble, is profitable, as Fast Company reported earlier this year, with $162 million in net revenue for 2018.
It has been a remarkable journey for Wolfe Herd, who began her dating startup Bumble with the idea of giving women the opportunity to send the first message to the person they’re interested in. The company came together after an unceremonious exit from another dating app: Tinder. Wolfe Herd left Tinder in 2013 after launching a highly public sexual harassment lawsuit, which was ultimately settled.
In the aftermath of the suit, Wolfe Herd teamed up with Andreev to build her company. Since then, Bumble has been courted by Tinder’s parent company Match Group, which then later sued the app for patent and trademark infringement. Bumble now has a user base of 75 million in 150 countries.
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