The Bumble dating app on Wednesday posted higher-than-expected current-quarter revenues as paying customers surged in the time of the pandemic that helped the dating app owner overcome challenges posed by the COVID-19 delta variant. Shares of Bumble rose 3 percent in extended trading, as the Texas-based company also surpassed quarterly revenue estimates, as total paying users jumped 20 percent to 20.9 million.

Apps like Bumble and Tinder grew last year as people isolated due to the lockdown turned to virtual dating to rekindle romance. Now the economy is again under threat from the Delta variant. Now investors are once again in the hope of how dating apps can increase income if the pandemic strikes again.

Bumble said it is confident of its performance for the rest of the year, as it continues to see positive trends across platforms “even in the most affected markets”. “When COVID intensifies and loneliness surrounds people, people come to us to connect with someone or something,” Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Heard said on a cost call. Hurd said Bumble also saw increased engagement and activity in India, even with the Delta variant spread across the country.

The search for platonic relationships is also on the rise, prompting companies like Match Group’s Tinder and Bumble to double down on services that help users find and retain friends. Data from research firm Apptopia showed that Bumble was downloaded more than two million times in the United States during the second quarter, an increase of about 18 percent year-on-year.

Its second quarter revenue grew 38 per cent to $186.2 million (about Rs 1,380 crore) compared to Refinitiv IBES’s estimate of $178.7 million (about Rs 1,330 crore). Bumble, which stands apart from competitors by requiring women to make the first move, said it exceeded expectations of $190.9 million by between $195 million (about Rs 1,450 crore) and $198 million (about Rs 1,470 crore). Expects current quarter revenue.

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