Blackstone-backed Bumble set to be valued at more than $13 billion in debut

The display outside the Nasdaq MarketSite is pictured as the dating app operator Bumble Inc. (BMBL) made its debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange during the company's IPO in New York City, New York, U.S., February 11, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - Shares of Bumble Inc, backed by Blackstone Group Inc, were set for a more than 67% jump in their market debut on Thursday, indicating a valuation of over $13 billion for the operator of the dating app where women make the first move.

Bumble’s shares were indicated to open at $72 on the Nasdaq, at 11:24 am ET, well above its initial public offering price of $43 per share.

Bumble’s IPO of 50 million shares was priced above the top end of its range, raising $2.15 billion.

The company is among a number of high-profile Silicon Valley tech startups, which are seeking to cash in on record-breaking demand for new shares on U.S. capital markets.

Austin, Texas-based Bumble was founded in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd, a co-founder of rival app Tinder, which she left earlier that year.

In 2019, Blackstone paid about $3 billion to acquire a majority stake in MagicLab, which owned the Bumble and Badoo apps at the time, from founder Andrey Andreev. Wolfe Herd was named Bumble’s chief executive officer after the deal.

Wolfe Herd, 31, had sued Tinder alleging that her co-founders subjected her to sexual harassment. Tinder parent Match Group Inc, which denied the allegations, paid about $1 million to settle the dispute.

A court fight, however, broke out in 2018 after Bumble rejected a $450 million acquisition offer from Match. Match had filed a lawsuit against Bumble alleging intellectual property infringement. But Bumble counter-sued two weeks later accusing Match of fraud and trade secrets theft. Both lawsuits were later dropped that same year.

Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are the lead underwriters for the offering.

Reporting by Niket Nishant and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva