One day it’s there, the next it’s not. Much like with matters of the heart, wealth can change almost overnight.
A steep drop in Bumble shares since the dating app owner’s quarterly earnings call on November 10 has knocked the fortune of cofounder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd—previously the world’s youngest self-made woman billionaire—below $1 billion, Forbes calculates.
The 32-year-old Wolfe Herd was worth an estimated $940 million at Monday’s closing price of $35.03 per share. Her net worth has fallen by more than $200 million since third quarter earnings were released nearly three weeks ago, as Bumble stock has tumbled by 26%. Wolfe Herd has a 21% stake in the company she founded in 2014 as a dating app where women make the first move. She also has about $100 million from the sale of a portion of her ownership to private equity firm Blackstone in 2020, her family office previously told Forbes.
Representatives for Bumble and Herd’s family office did not respond to requests for comment for this story.
Bumble had investors buzzing at its IPO in February. The Tinder and Hinge competitor—the second big dating app to go public after Match Group’s 2015 debut—raised $2.2 billion at an $8.6 valuation after it opened trading at $76 per share, well above its $43 listing price. The IPO’s success boosted Wolfe Herd’s fortune to $1.5 billion, making her the world’s youngest self-made woman billionaire, as well as the youngest female CEO to take a company public.
However it has struggled to hold onto the same momentum since. Shares have declined since peaking on February 16 at $78.89 per share. They were trading near $60 in September and took a dramatic tumble earlier this month. Investors were spooked in the recent quarterly earnings call when the company posted a decline in overall user growth for the first time since its IPO, with total paying users dropping to 2.87 million in the three months through September, down from 2.93 million in the prior quarter.
While the drop in users was predominantly tied to Bumble’s other dating app, Badoo, which is popular outside the U.S., investors were more concerned by the performance of its namesake women-focused dating app, which didn’t tally nearly as many new paid users as expected, JPMorgan analyst Cory Carpenter told Forbes. Bumble added 60,000 new paid customers instead of the expected 87,000, while rival Match Group reported a record 800,000 users for its dating app Tinder the week prior.
The Bumble app still saw its revenue rise 39% year-over-year, to $142.5 million, and the company overall (including Badoo) beat Wall Street expectations with a total revenue of $201 million for the quarter, raising its full-year-revenue forecast as a result. Bumble trimmed its losses to $10.7 million, from $22.8 million the year prior, but the company still lost more than double what analysts predicted.
Bumble is far from the only company to struggle after its IPO. An analysis published Sunday by the Financial Times found half of the companies that raised more than $1 billion at IPOs this year are trading below their listing prices—despite strong performances of stock markets and the surge in IPOs, which have raised $330 billion so far this year, according to data provided by EY. Among the other newly public companies floundering are Swedish oat-milk darling Oatly, whose market cap sits about $7.5 billion below its May debut. U.K.-based food delivery app Deliveroo and Indian payments giant Paytm are also still below their listing prices after witnessing steep stock drops following high-profile IPOs.
Wolfe Herd famously launched the dating app with a twist after a dramatic exit from Tinder in 2014. She sued her former employer for sexual harassment and discrimination, claiming she was stripped of her co-founder title, and sent threats and derogatory text messages by her ex-boss and ex-boyfriend. The case was quickly and confidentially settled by Tinder (the company denied any wrongdoing) before Wolfe Herd struck out on her own, enlisting the help of London-based Russian billionaire Andrey Andreev to build an alternative dating app focused on providing women with a safer environment.
A July 2019 Forbes investigation found a toxic, misogynistic environment at the Badoo/Bumble company’s London headquarters, according to former employees. Andreev denied some of the allegations but also launched an investigation into alleged toxic office culture shortly after the Forbes article was published. Four months later, private equity firm Blackstone swooped in to buy a majority stake in Bumble/Badoo parent MagicLab, purchasing Andreev’s stake, in a deal that valued the group at $3 billion.