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Power outage, Texas, Energy market Bumble CEO says 'connectivity and love' contributed to company's success amid pandemic

Remember. This is a stock that was priced at 43. A share it’s now indicated to open at seventy six dollars a share. Uh ceo, whitney wolf heard standing by with brian sassy and melody hum melody. Yes, thanks, so much akiko, as you mentioned after pricing at 43. Bucks shares are now indicated to open at 76 that’s 77 higher uh let’s, bring in whitney into the conversation thanks for joining us today. Whit hi, thanks for having me appreciate you so yeah. So when you think about you know the company on wednesday sold 50 million shares, you have planned to originally sell 45, and that was even a boost from the original s1. Give us a sense of how you’re feeling today, on this pretty iconic day, yeah i’m. Very humbled and grateful to be here and we’re very excited about celebrating this milestone for the business, but we are so focused on the long term and we’re so excited about what we’re building, and so our global team is taking a moment to celebrate. But then it’s back to work and we’re excited to prove out our long term vision and mission, whitney let’s focus in on it. Go ahead, go ahead. Brian yeah let’s focus in on what you what you are in fact, uh building here, you wrote in your letter and i really like the founders letter in the s1. Has the bubble has the potential to become a preeminent global women’s brand? Where else do you see bumble going yeah? So when we think about bumble’s opportunity, we look at the woman’s life cycle or the the person’s relationship journey right and when you think about all the different touch points you have in your life that are really a derivative of your relationships, whether that’s.

The quest for love, or once you find love how you embark on the next chapter – engagement, marriage fertility, um everything thereafter that comes with those journeys and then, as you, navigate that life cycle of looking for friends and community people to go. Do the things you love with and and to really connect on these shared interests or even find support on common struggles on that relationship journey? And so, when you think about both our vertical opportunity to go deeper into love and the extent the extension opportunity in the love category alone, that’s that’s massive – and we have not even embarked on this – this global footprint yet, and so our focus right now is really Expanding our dating category to the rest of the world and innovating the technology and the offerings within the the dating category and then to really build out this tam and this ltv opportunity of connecting people across all their relationships and for anything they’re. Looking for and with that always staying committed to engineering, accountability and equality online and to really lean into this moat that we’ve built, which is a woman’s first brand when you think about that woman’s first idea and female empowerment here, how do you imagine that sort of Playing out, as you say, you want to really create a portfolio of brands. Right now you have biz, you have bff. Are there other things in the works? Are you gon na have one exclusively for new mothers? I know you are a new mother yourself, uh curious.

How you’re thinking about that? There are so many opportunities ahead of us, but, as i said, we started this business to rewrite the rules of love and relationships more broadly, but dating is where we saw the highest demand in the immediate term, and the unfortunate reality is too many relationships across the Globe are still unhealthy, they’re not rooted in inequality, and so we’re really focused on proving out this. This way of putting women in the driver’s seat and and giving them a safe, accountable platform to engage with others and then really going deeper from there. So yes, we’re very focused on our ltv opportunities on our other offerings, but we are a team that knows how to focus and prioritize and we are staying very, very focused on the dating opportunity for now. But there is a long road ahead of us and you will see a lot of opportunity come from those adjacencies. One thing that has been made clear during the pandemic is loneliness is sort of a byproduct right of what everyone has been going through during this time. Uh, when you think about how you have filled in that space, um and people are swiping, even if they’re not able to end up meeting in person with these people um you mentioned that you had some of your best revenue generating weeks during the year 2020.. Can you speak to the overall business and how it’s flourished uh during a time of economic crisis and despair? Absolutely well? First of all, our hearts go out to everybody that has been negatively impacted by this pandemic, and i think the one thing we have all seen through this is the importance of our relationships.

Loneliness is not how we were meant to to exist in this world, and and we are really focused on connecting people on a deeper level, digitally to give them that strong foundation to then take it offline once they’re ready and the pandemic has created this very unique Opportunity for a slow date approach, an approach to really get to know each other virtually by video by audio by deeper levels of communication, and then you understand if you’re compatible. This saves you so much time and energy and risk. It creates a safer experience when you’re engaging with dating and we have seen this become the norm, and we also believe that this is here to stay. The ease and the the the um willingness to date online is here for the long run. I think stigma surrounding online dating has been significantly depleted throughout this chapter, and we think that that has accelerated our opportunity far ahead of where we had expected to be in terms of people being willing to join our product whitney. I would. I would make the case that just the the enthusiastic response here and the stock right now is indicating 76 dollars in part. Is the market doesn’t view you as just a dating app? You know you talk a lot on the s1 about this new social discovery. Uh platform – and perhaps you might be some form of social media platform – is that the right way for investors to think about you.

I think the right way to think about it is. We are not just one relationship as human beings. We are so much more than just love, we are our friendships, we are our community, we are our business opportunities. There is no reason why that will not translate online. The world has recognized the power of online dating and the world is about to recognize the power of finding community and connections around whatever you’re looking for on the internet, and we have been meticulous about building a brand that protects women and engineers, accountability and kindness into The internet, we have passed legislation or been part of passing legislation to really make sure that we are doing things differently, that we are building a place. You can come to to find anyone you might be looking for and long term. We will be a platform much wider than just love, but that does not mean we’re, not laser focused on love right now because, as i said, there’s huge opportunity ahead and the dating tam is very wide. Well, love uh whitney seems to be profitable because, unlike a lot of tech, companies that we have talked to over the past year that have come to market you’ve actually made money on an adjusted ebitda basis. In the first nine months, uh through september 30th, you’ve pulled in 98.9 million dollars again on an adjusted basis. What is the secret sauce of this model? Why are you profitable? On that basis? We are profitable because of our commitment to engineering, an authentic and genuine experience, and because we looked at the market – and we recognized that nobody, not in the physical world nor the digital world had ever built a technology platform or brand fully centered around women’s wants and Needs we identified this massive white space and it has proven to be an incredible business model, and so this just proves that passion, purpose and profit can coexist whitney.

I think what brian was mentioning, especially in regards to the social component we’ve seen social media giants really um get hammered right because of censorship issues because of this whole debate about whether something uh, whether folks are allowed to post freely on platforms. I understand that bumble has a zero tolerance behavior for hate and toxicity. Can you speak to whether you’ve seen an increase in bad actors on your platform, especially as you have diversified your offerings during this time? So we are not scared to take a stance for what we believe aligns with our values and our mission. Historically we’ve banned guns from our platform, and just two weeks ago we have banned any form of body shaming. This is not going to be tolerated on our platform. We are going to take the lead on really engineering, a more accountable experience in the real world. There are guard rails. There are laws, there are consequences for your behavior. There is no reason why consequences should not exist. Digitally now, we’re, not trying to you, know, censor people, but we are trying to tell you that if you want to behave poorly, you cannot do it here. We talk to us about uh m a uh this whole. The whole dating industry is really it’s rolled up seemingly into into a couple different companies. The bigger keeps getting uh really bigger. What are your thoughts on m? Are you an acquirer, so my vision from day one was build, a platform and a brand where you can have extensibility opportunities, and then you won’t need to rely on m a down the road and when we think about m a we will not approach m a From a adding more brands and adding more audiences and more scale we can scale within, we have the trust we have the brand.

We have the technology platforms, we have the innovation, we have all the ingredients, we need to scale with our core brands, but we can always approach m a to support that so through technology initiatives or product initiatives or if it’s, an aquahire there’s a lot of opportunity Ahead, but that is really uh the more theoretical you know high level way, we’re thinking about it, what is happening on the ground and is not theoretical these days is this uh influx of folks you’re, seeing from silicon valley to places like austin – and i know you Set up bumble in austin in 2014 um when i covered south by southwest years ago, you would always open up your space for reporters and for lots of hobnobbing. Tell me about what you’re seeing on the ground there um. You were sort of an early mover in that sort of tech going to texas. Are you seeing more of your colleagues doing the same? Absolutely texas is the friendship, state it’s, a great place to be and it’s obviously very attractive for technology businesses, and i will attribute a lot of our early success to being here. We were able to be with our everyday customers. We were not getting caught up in the mix and the noise of silicon valley with all due respect to that area. But we were able to branch out and do our own thing and to beat to our own drum and we’re. Very grateful to the state of texas and to austin and to our community here who have supported us and helped us thrive thanks.

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