Nov 11, 2019

Blackstone Group buys majority stake in Bumble parent company

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The Blackstone Group agreed to buy a majority stake in Magic Lab, the owner of dating apps Bumble and Badoo, at an enterprise value of around $3 billion.

Why it matters: This represents a heartbreaking loss for Match Group, whose love/hate relationship with Magic Lab has included both takeover efforts and lawsuits. Now Match will be forced to watch as Magic Lab and Blackstone get more serious, likely leading to an IPO ceremony.

CEO shuffle: Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd becomes CEO of Magic Lab, and retains most of her stake. Magic Lab founder and CEO Andrey Andreev sells his entire position to Blackstone.

The bottom line: "Bumble sets itself apart from other dating apps with its requirement that women initiate a conversation that might lead to a date. Blackstone aims to help it expand into more geographies and to continue branching out into facilitating nondating-related social meetups." ⁠— Miriam Gottfried, WSJ

Go deeper: Blackstone Group to pay $5.9 billion for Colony Capital warehouses

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Scoop: IAC's plan to build out $200 million mobile unit

Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Yahoo

Interactive Corp. (IAC), the digital media empire owned by media mogul Barry Diller, has been quietly building a profitable mobile apps division that's on track to bring in about $200 million in annual revenue.

  • The company has been building and acquiring roughly 8 consumer-facing mobile apps per year for the past 5 years, sources tell Axios. Sources say the company plans to add another round of around 8 apps this year, either by acquiring them or building them itself.
Go deeperArrowNov 12, 2019

The future of the first date

Illustration: Axios Visuals.

First, dating apps moved the experience of bumping into a good-looking stranger online. Now, the apps are coming for first dates.

Driving the news: The League, an exclusive dating platform that requires users to link to their LinkedIn accounts and wait for approval to join, is out with a new service called League Live. Those who sign up can go on three speed video chat dates within the app every week — it's yet another iconic step in courtship being relegated to smartphones.

Bumble Bee Foods files for bankruptcy

Photo: Getty Images

Bum­ble Bee Foods, the canned seafood brand, filed for bank­ruptcy protection — crushed by the weight of legal expenses “stem­ming from its in­volve­ment in a con­spir­acy to fix prices on canned tuna,” as the Wall Street Journal reports.

The state of play: It also plans to sell its assets to Taiwan-based FCF Fishery Co. for $925 million.

Go deeperArrowNov 22, 2019