Bumble shares plunge 20% as COVID-19 hurts user growth

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Bumble posted its first sequential decline in user growth since the dating app owner went public in February, as fresh pandemic restrictions crimped demand in some markets, sending shares plunging almost 20 percent Friday.

In the third quarter, total paying users fell 2 percent from the prior quarter to 2.9 million as the global Delta variant surge prompted renewed lockdowns, curtailing consumer spending on dating app subscriptions and in-app purchases.

Bumble’s other dating app, Badoo, which is mostly used by the urban middle class segment, also saw user growth affected by the economic pressures brought on by the health crisis in some markets.

“Badoo operates in a large number of markets where the pandemic is still a significant challenge … with differences in pace of recovery by region,” Chief Executive Officer Whitney Wolfe Herd said in a post-earnings call.

“While many key markets such as Russia and Brazil have shown strong growth in both paying users and user revenue, other markets like France and Italy have lagged.”

Bumble dating app logo on the App Store seen on a smartphone in this photo illustration
Fresh pandemic restrictions crimped demand for Bumble in some markets, with the number of total paying users dropping 2 percent from the prior quarter to 2.9 million.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Bumble shares were down 19.16 percent to $38.60 in midday trading Friday. The company’s shares have lost about 32 percent since its market debut in February.

Despite the slowdown, Texas-based Bumble raised its full-year revenue forecast and said it remained well-positioned for the upcoming quarter as it continues to expand internationally. Rival Match Group, however, projected fourth-quarter revenue below estimates as COVID-19 hit the Tinder owner’s business in Asia.

Bumble logo displayed on a phone screen is seen with paper silhouettes looking like a man and a woman in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on July 31, 2021. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Bumble raised its full-year revenue forecast despite the slowdown, saying it was well-positioned for the upcoming quarter as it continues to expand internationally.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Bumble expects current-quarter revenue between $208 million and $211 million, above analysts’ estimates of $206.0 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Total revenue was $200.5 million in the third quarter, compared with estimates of $198.8 million.

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