Market Health

Don’t Buy This Dating App’s Stock… Yet

The past year wasn’t all bad.

Some of the pandemic’s better consequences are here to stay, like grocery delivery services, telehealth appointments and flexible work-from-home policies. And in many cases, the pandemic simply accelerated already occurring trends, like online dating.

COVID-19 best practices and social distancing were isolating for most people, but even more so for those who were single or living alone. This caused a surge in online dating activity and has been a boon for mobile dating apps.

Tinder is far and away the industry leader here. It’s owned by Match Group (Nasdaq: MTCH), which also operates, OkCupid, Hinge, Plenty of Fish and more.

Now, in the early months of the pandemic, Tinder hit a record 3 billion “swipes” in one day (how users indicate romantic interest).

But Tinder’s competition has recently gotten tougher. The No. 2 dating app is gaining market share… and recently went public.

Bumble Chart

Bumble (Nasdaq: BMBL) started trading on the Nasdaq at $76 per share on February 11. And there’s a lot to love here.

Bumble is part of the increasingly popular subscription economy. It allows users to join and match for free, but it has in-app offerings and premium features for a weekly fee. As of last September, the company had more than 12 million users. And the long-term growth potential here is huge.

Before 2020, online dating was one of many ways to find a partner. You could be set up through a mutual friend, meet through work or (for the hopelessly romantic) lock eyes in a crowded bar.

But now the thought of being in a crowded bar makes many people cringe. And online dating is often the first resource tapped. For these reasons and more, Bumble would make a great investment. But here’s why I think investors should wait before swiping right.

When a stock goes public through an initial public offering (IPO), there’s often lots of hype and fanfare. Many investors “buy the news” and jump in at the first bell toll. But the numbers show that that’s not the way to maximize your returns.

DocuSign (Nasdaq: DOCU) IPO’d at $38 on April 22, 2018. It jumped to $64, fell to just below its IPO price at $37.99, then started its climb to $265. We pocketed a 136.5% gain on this play in September 2020 in our monthly newsletter, Strategic Trends Investor.

Beyond Meat (Nasdaq: BYND) IPO’d at $46 on April 28, 2019. It immediately shot up to $235 before plummeting back down to $75. Since then, it’s reached a high of $195. We closed this position for a 15.35% gain in February.

Uber Technologies (NYSE: UBER) IPO’d at $42 on May 5, 2019. It hit a high of $46… and then stumbled to $21. Since then, it’s nearly tripled. We entered the position at the start of this year and are still holding it for a gain.

I could go on, but my point is this: It often takes a newly public company a few months to find its footing in the market.

Now, I’m not psychic. But as I write this, Bumble is trading about 19% below its IPO price.

Based on the market opportunity that online dating presents, I’m confident Bumble will be a “Buy” in the future. But until then, let’s let this bee learn how to fly.

Good investing,


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