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Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd on Q1 earnings

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Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble Founder & CEO, joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the company's latest earnings report and her outlook.

Video Transcript


SEANA SMITH: Bumble's stock closing off nearly 6% today following its earnings report, falling below its IPO price of $43 a share, despite reporting better-than-expected revenue and turning a profit for the quarter. So we want to talk all about this. We have Bumble's founder and CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, joining us now. And we're also joined by West Coast reporter Melody Hahm.

And it's great to speak with you, Whitney. Thanks so much for taking the time to join us today. We saw very strong results from guys last night, yet we're seeing the selling pressure in the stock today. What's Wall Street getting wrong?

WHITNEY WOLFE HERD: Listen, we are absolutely operating for the long term. We have a great business. The fundamentals are there. They have been there. And I'm completely comfortable being underestimated. It's been a big part of my career so far. And it's a motivator, but we are all super focused on the future.

We-- as you saw, we reported great results. And we're very confident in the demand and the need for love, friendship, connection that's going nowhere. If this pandemic taught us anything, it's the global need for this. And that's exactly what this business provides. So we're really focused on the future and continuously reinvesting in our product, our marketing, and our brand.

MELODY HAHM: So, of course, we're already in the second quarter, right? And you anticipate total revenue in the range of $175 million to $178 million for this quarter. That's a pretty standard estimate here. What do you think will be the big driver? Will it be the FaceTimes? Will it be the video chat portal that Bumble has been able to create? Or will it be the kind of conduit to in-person alfresco dining, being outside and being on dates?

WHITNEY WOLFE HERD: So I think it's a mix, right? So you are seeing a lot of-- local markets are starting to open up. And regardless if people are looking for people to go, as you said, alfresco dining with, or if they just want to stay and have a video chat, it really doesn't differ that much from-- from the core need to connect. And that is exactly what this service does.

So if you think about something like Facebook, or some of these other social media products, they ultimately just keep you in touch with the network you already know, but they are not a gateway to new people. And Bumble is a gateway to new people. And this is something that all of us need access to.

So whether you're in an environment where you have to stay at home or you have to have certain restrictions in place, we still have plenty of at-home offerings you can do-- night in date nights with trivia on video. And something really interesting has emerged. Even the folks that are looking to get back out in real life and go to dinner or see each other in person, they're actually starting with a video date.

If you think about what that does, it alleviates the risk of not getting along with someone or not hitting it off with someone if you could see each other for a quick video-- 5 minutes, 10 minutes-- and say, OK, you know what, that is someone I want to meet. So video dating is here to stay, pre, post-pandemic. It's really going to be something that people lean into.

Also, continuously reinvesting in our moat of women-first, brand, safety. This is something that we've always led with and has been foundational to us. So these are some of the things we're focused on. And we're really, really excited about the future, and we're really excited about the-- the really early signs of reopening and all the re-engagement we're seeing in a lot of these early coming-out-of-the-pandemic areas.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Whitney, commentators on a competing network actually commented this morning that you're doing everything right when they were trying to figure out what was going on with the stock price. But in doing everything right and attracting 42 million monthly active users, I was curious, what's the profile of the new people that you might be attracting, especially when we're talking about women first? Is it women who've never been married? Is it women who have intentions of getting married? Or is it just women who want to make a connection?

WHITNEY WOLFE HERD: Oh, my goodness, it's such a vast diversity of people. And, you know, the one thing that binds all of us, regardless of our circumstances, is that inherent need for connection. So you'll have women coming here who have gone through divorces or gone through breakups or have decided, you know what, they are ready for something serious.

All of those use cases bring you to Bumble. You have people that are navigating first love coming to Bumble. Because we put such an emphasis on women being in the driver's seat, women are not getting spammed with messages on our platform. Women are in control. They get to really filter through the noise of what dating usually is for women.

Dating is hard for women. Bumble comes in to make it seamless, safe, and favorable, which means it speaks to so many different audiences, not just one type of woman, not just one type of person.

MELODY HAHM: Whitney, to that point, you had about $246 million in cash at the end of Q1. Are there any smaller players or amazing entrepreneurs that I'm sure you've been connected to that could be great portfolio adds here?

WHITNEY WOLFE HERD: We are exploring a bevy of interesting opportunities. Obviously, we can't comment beyond what we shared surrounding M&A yesterday in our earnings. But we are always looking at interesting ways to further invest into our existing products and to reinforce our moat, mission, safety, brand, making dating both in-app and post-app more exciting, more engaging, more seamless for all of our customers.

And then, of course, international expansion. This is a huge focus for us. We're growing really rapidly in a lot of international markets. And when you think about the opportunity around the world, Bumble has tapped such a small portion of that. And our sister app Badoo gives us this remarkable leading insight machine, essentially, to go into these markets, to learn from their customer base and to see how customers are responding to certain features or certain offerings. And this gives us such a runway to go and-- and really enter into these new markets.

So we're so excited about all of those opportunities. And again, we're at our very, very early-- the very early innings of our opportunity. This is just our second earnings ever. We're new, a newly-public company. And we didn't go public to-- to monitor this day-by-day. We went public for the long term and-- and to really build the long growth story, which we're really confident that we're building.

MELODY HAHM: Yeah, and then finally, we talk so often-- probably over the last decade, omnichannel has become maybe one of the most common words in retail. I'm curious about Bumble's offerings, whether it's Bizz, BFF. I know you had opened Bumble Brew in New York City, a physical gathering spot. How do you imagine this bundle of products, where people could actually be followed through the Bumble ecosystem, even if it's translated to an offline world?

WHITNEY WOLFE HERD: Yeah, no, it's a great question. So we've always looked at ourselves as a branded house of sorts, right? You have some of our peer sets that are this house of brands where they rely on a lot of different customer bases and a lot of different offerings. But for us, so many offerings are a feature. So many offerings can actually, instead of being standalone businesses, they can be additions.

And when you look at the lifecycle journey of the-- the relationship journey, how can we follow our customers offline? How can we give them more engaging opportunities in the product? How do we help them get ready for a date? How can we help them choose where to go on the date? How can we help them have healthy relationships once they found success? And then how do we help them build community, right?

We all thrive on community, not just romantic partners. And so, you know, the fact that over 10% of our dating customers are already using our friend finding feature in what is ultimately still a beta-- you know, a beta version of the friend finding feature is remarkable. And we've seen mega surges, which we announced in earnings yesterday, both with women and men on the friend finding feature.

And so when you look at the opportunities to grow that customer base, to grow the offerings, our brand gives us permission to do that. And that's always what set us apart and will continue to as we evolve. And we have our first coffee shop launching in Soho in June. We're really excited about that.

So it's ultimately, what are these touchpoints of community? What are these touchpoints of healthy and equitable relationships? And where does our brand give us permission to go? And when you take a long-term horizon and you think about it that way, it's very exciting.

SEANA SMITH: It certainly is. Well, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder and CEO of Bumble, thanks so much for taking the time to join us. And, of course, our thanks to Melody Hahm as well.