Bumble buys France’s freemium dating app startup Fruitz to expand into Europe and take on Tinder
A year after its $14 billion IPO, dating app startup Bumble finally makes its first acquisition. Bumble announced on Monday it has acquired France’s Fruitz, a freemium dating app popular among Gen Z and used across Europe. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition will enable Bumble to strengthen its foothold in Europe, where it plays catch-up with Tinder owner Match Group. Founded in 2017, Fruitz “encourages open and honest communication of dating intentions” through the use of four different fruit metaphors.
Fruitz did not share its s total user base but data from research firm Apptopia showed that Bumble was downloaded about 2.4 million times in the United States during the fourth quarter, while Match reached 10.5 million downloads. Bumble also declined to comment but said it is seeing rapid growth across France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, and Canada.
Fruitz runs on the “freemium” model that most dating app companies use, where the app itself is free and users can augment their experience with in-app purchases. Bumble’s flagship app, for example, has add-ons like its premium service for $39.99 a month.
In a statement, Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd said, “Badoo is one of the most downloaded dating apps in Western Europe, and Bumble has seen strong growth there as well.”
In February 2021, Bumble pops to $14 billion on IPO debut, making 31-year-old founder Wolfe Herd the latest tech billionaire.
Founded in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd, a co-founder of rival app Tinder, Bumble is one app that works in three modes: dating, friend-finding, and networking. Whitney left Tinder the same year to start Bumble. Its vision, according to its website, is to “envision a world free of misogyny, where all relationships are equal. We know — we’ve got our work cut out for us. But we believe in our mission and know that we can change the culture.”