Bumble files for IPO

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(CNN) -- Bumble, the company best known for its female-centered dating app, is getting ready for its big date with Wall Street.

The company filed paperwork on Friday for an initial public offering, potentially setting it up for a Wall Street debut at a time when dating apps have become lifelines for single people during the pandemic.

It will list on the Nasdaq under the stock ticker "BMBL."

The company reported generating $376.6 million in revenue between Jan. 29 and Sept. 30 of last year. During that same period, the company posted a net loss of $84.1 million.

Bumble was founded in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd, who started her career at Tinder. She initially set out to create a women-focused social network before landing on the concept of a female-focused dating app. Bumble requires women searching for heterosexual matches to make the first move, the idea being that this feature would empower women to make their own choices. It took off: Bumble, headquartered in Austin, has become a household name and now includes services beyond dating, including professional networking (Bumble Bizz) and finding new friends (Bumble BFF).

According to its IPO paperwork, the Bumble dating empire counted 42.1 million monthly active users as of the end of September.

"We remain committed to the major opportunity ahead of us to make dating healthier and more equitable around the world, not only for women, but for people across the gender spectrum," Wolfe Herd wrote in a letter accompanying the IPO paperwork.

Bumble is poised to go public on the heels of other successful tech IPOs. Airbnb and DoorDash each soared in their recent public market debuts, suggesting strong investor interest.

Unlike many other technology companies, the majority of Bumble's board is made up of women. At 31, Wolfe Herd will become one of the youngest female CEOs in tech to take her company public. Katrina Lake, the founder and CEO of Stitch Fix, was the youngest female CEO in tech to do so in 2017, when she was 34.

Investment firm Blackstone bought a majority stake in Bumble's parent company -- then called MagicLab but since renamed Bumble -- from Russian billionaire Andrey Andreev in 2019. The parent company also includes Badoo, a popular digital dating service outside the United States, founded by Andreev in 2006.

Andreev served as a partner to Wolfe Herd since Bumble's start. As part of the deal, Andreev sold his stake and stepped down from the business; Wolfe Herd took over the helm. The Blackstone deal valued Bumble, the parent company, at $3 billion.

The online dating space is crowded, with competing apps such as Tinder, Hinge, Match and OKCupid all owned by Match Group. But Wolfe Herd has worked to set her company apart -- from publicly slamming and blocking a misogynist user to banning gun photos and flagging lewd images sent through direct messages on its app. She's also used her profile to throw her weight around issues pertaining to women and the digital world. In 2019, she and Bumble successfully advocated for a new Texas law outlawing digital sexual harassment.

"Our long-term vision is to be the platform to meet new people, no matter what you might be looking for, whichever life stage or situation you're in," Wolfe Herd wrote in the letter to investors. "We will do this with our innovative technology -- and by advocating for equality, both through legislation and with the power of our trusted brand."

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Bumble files for IPO"