Bumble finds its first acquisition match in dating app Fruitz

8 Feb 2022

Image: © Diego/Stock.adobe.com

Bumble hopes to expand into a younger Gen Z market with the purchase of Fruitz, which has been growing in popularity in Europe.

Dating app company Bumble has announced its first acquisition, snapping up fast-growing French dating app Fruitz.

Founded in 2017, Fruitz has seen growth in Europe and Canada. Like Bumble and its sister app Badoo, Fruitz is a ‘freemium’’ app offering basic services for free while more advanced features must be paid for.

Bumble said the acquisition is a natural fit that will complement its other apps. It added that Fruitz is popular among a younger Gen Z audience.

The founders of Fruitz and its team will be staying on and leading the app within Bumble.

“Fruitz is a brand and leadership team that I’ve been following for years,” Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd said. “By plugging Fruitz into our technology and data science platform, community support, brand and growth marketing, we can accelerate Fruitz’s growth.

“Badoo and Bumble are two of the most popular global dating apps. The acquisition of Fruitz allows us to expand our product offerings in line with our focus on empowering relationships for everyone.”

Fruitz allows users to share their dating preferences and specify what they’re looking for through the use of playful fruit metaphors. Fruitz CEO Julian Kabab said the idea came about from his own experiences from dating apps, which he described as “a disaster”.

“Expressing what you’re looking for is not easy because we’re fearful of being judged. As a result, no one was being honest with their intentions and everyone was wasting each other’s time.

“Bumble’s vision and product has been an inspiration to us from day one. We’re so excited with the opportunity to grow as part of Bumble Inc and work toward empowering more healthy relationships,” Kabab added.

Fruitz has been downloaded 5.6m times to date on the App Store and Google Play, according to Sensor Tower data. It was recently ranked fourth on the iPhone’s top free charts in the Lifestyle category in France, TechCrunch reports.

Bumble will now have another asset to take on Match Group, its main competitor and the parent company of several dating services including Match.com, OkCupid, Hinge and Tinder.

Data from research firm Apptopia showed that Bumble had 2.4m downloads in the US during the fourth quarter of last year, while Match apps reached 10.5m downloads, Reuters reported.

Last February, Bumble went public less than seven years after it was founded. The listing made Wolfe Herd the youngest woman CEO to take a company public.

Wolfe Herd was a co-founder of Tinder, but left the company and filed a sexual discrimination and harassment suit before founding Bumble in 2014.

Following the acquisition of Fruitz, Bumble will have more than 800 employees with key offices in Austin, London, Barcelona, Paris and Moscow.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic