Love, OkCupid, Vaccine, Valentine’s Day We never wanted to build just a dating product: Bumble CEO

A share, so a big increase on its first day of trading, its founder and ceo, whitney wolfheart is with us now. Thank you for being with us whitney thanks so much for having me. So i mean obviously uh one can see the appeal when you consider the two billion that you’ve raised here, but why was public the right move for you? Why is this where you want to take the company? We have a very ambitious roadmap ahead of us to really change the face of not only love but connection at large. We want to give women the opportunity to shift the paradigm of how connection and relationships have always gone, which is historically men being the first movers, and we want to create a kinder, more accountable experience where women are in the driver’s seat, which makes it better for Everyone, and in order to go and extend this across the globe and to take this to you, know every corner of the of the globe, eventually down the road. We think and thought and believe uh in this moment, that being public was the right way to approach that the lots of questions i’m. Sure you get asked about how the process has changed and how you’ve had to adapt during a pandemic when it’s harder for people to connect, literally physically in person, what’s different about a dating app today than it would have been even a year and a half ago. Yeah so a year and a half ago, people were showing trends of joining the product or getting on the the internet more broadly to date and perhaps having really quick engagement and then going offline, perhaps exchanging numbers or getting to know each other very briefly, and then Going and meeting in real life and the pandemic has really changed the face of this industry in the sense that it has just accelerated the way people engage on a deeper level, and this has always been an assumption of ours, and our technology arm has been very Ahead of this, we had video dating in the product uh a year prior to the pandemic, and so we were able to really optimize the experience as the pandemic hit and shut downs and lock ins started to be enforced.

People were able to actually lean into the real benefit of online dating, which is getting to know each other digitally first and making sure that person on the other end is someone you actually do want to meet in real life. This makes it safer and more accountable and it adds so much ease and – and it gives you control over the experience in the way you cannot quite achieve in the real world, and so this is a trend that we believe is here to stay. We really do believe that people have recognized the value proposition of having their first or second or multiple first dates, whether that’s for love or friendship or otherwise, on the product first, before venturing into the real world – and i i know you’re, a big source of revenue. Uh is the premium service uh, so the additional features that people can access. What? What do you see, along with the uh, the ad revenue that you are generating now what’s the potential growth for you on uh? You know your big user base. Is there some other kind of form of revenue that you haven’t yet tapped? We believe we’re just at the very early innings of the opportunities, even in the subscription model alone, there’s. So many levers we can pull there’s premium features. We can introduce there’s, lower tier features. We can introduce there’s a lot of value. Additive features that people are interested in when it comes to their dating lives or their quest for friendship or their quest for connection more broadly and so the opportunity to really introduce new features and optimize.

The pre existing ones and to convert payers along the way is very um it’s, very lucrative down the road. It is a crowded space, as you well know, you founded two of these businesses uh. How do you differentiate and how do you? How do you fend off? Uh upstarts because people do tend to kind of try a service and then move on to another service. How do you make sure the churn uh keeps people coming back to you? Yeah i’ve now had the privilege of being a part of two of these very popular um. You know consumer brands and what what i have recognized through my experience is just how important the brand itself is and our core differentiator from day one and we believe it will be a driving force, not the only driving force but a driving force as we go On is the strength of our brand. This moat, we have built through a woman making the first move. This gives her deeper control over her experience, it’s a barrier to entry and candidly. We just looked at the market and recognized that 50 percent of the population is women and there had never really been a technology business strategically designed for the needs, wants and and the the safety of women, and so by taking that thesis and applying it. Not just to dating, but to a broader brand and a broader platform for how women are treated on the internet is really going to stay a competitive advantage for us as we go forward and candidly the ltv opportunity we have has always been rooted in what we’re Doing we never wanted to build just a dating product? You know back in the early days we agreed starting with dating, is the right approach, there’s, so much opportunity to transform dating and to capture that remarkable tam of online dating while having extensibility permission to do more and when you think about doing more uh, you could Easily see some of those existing social media platforms that have the similar kind of powerful reach getting into this space, can you get into their space? Can you compete with some some areas that are completely uh distanced from the dating side of things? We fundamentally believe we can, because dating is not that disconnected from friendship or community or your business connections.

You and i are on our own version of a date right now. This is just a professional date, and so when you think about that category expansion, it becomes very natural and it doesn’t feel disjointed, and so you can see the ease and the opportunity to just really modernize the way we connect more broadly and make that digital first And so i think what we will see in the coming years to follow is this explosion of social discovery not just dating discovery? It is great to have you with us for this. We appreciate your time. Whitney wilford is the founder and the ceo of uh bumble and, as we noted, the stock has shot higher in its ipo today. It joins other publicly traded companies, including match in the public market 74. Is the current gain off the 43 dollar list price.

What do you think?

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