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Bumble says it’s looking for mergers and acquisitions to drive growth

Dating apps and other social networking tools are taking notice: Dating app giant Bumble is looking to make more acquisitions. The company said on its first-quarter earnings call Wednesday that it plans to “opportunistically” use M&A to help it better prioritize inorganic growth.

Unlike its rival Match, which has a history of acquiring popular dating app brands left and right, Bumble hasn’t been very aggressive in pursuing growth through acquisitions. Its first acquisition was French dating app Fruitz in February 2022, followed by the acquisition of couples app Official in 2023 for $10 million. To put it mildly, none of them are becoming the next Tinder.

Now, Bumble says it will look to acquire other businesses that align with its growth goals. Specifically, CFO Anu Subramanian said on the call that the company, now under new leadership (CEO Lidiane Jones joined Bumble from Slack late last year), will set the stage for Bumble’s M&A landscape and its goals. Set “higher standards” for investing in acquisitions that drive inorganic growth.

Jones said in a follow-up report that Bumble would consider the “added value” of the technology as much as the business. In other words, Bumble might acquire a smaller app if it’s doing something particularly innovative that Bumble could use or invest in its app. However, she did not indicate that the company was considering certain regions, market segments or use cases. .

“There are a lot of interesting tech companies across the industry that we’re always looking at, but we immediately focus on whether it really aligns with and accelerates our long-term mission,” Jones said. That seems to leave a wide field for potential candidates.

Bumble reported strong first-quarter results, handily beating average analysts’ estimates for profit and revenue. The company reported net income of 19 cents per share for the quarter on revenue of $267.8 million. Analysts expected profit of 7 cents per share on revenue of $265.5 million.

The company also touted last week’s improvements to its flagship dating app, which now allows women to choose from pre-written questions that their matches can answer without having to message their matches themselves. Additionally, Bumble once again talked about its broader BFF program, which is designed to help Gen Z users find friends.

Jones also talked about the company’s plans to use generative artificial intelligence, noting that the technology can help in areas such as profile creation, understanding customer intent, enhancing trust and safety, improving matching, and more.

“… When we think about generating AI, our job is to build a premium level of dating service experience where we really take a more intimate approach to supporting your entire dating journey,” Jones added. “So even if we get more signals after a customer has dated, we can automatically enhance their profile creation again without them having to go back,” she said.

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