Almost six months after Bumble filed a countersuit against Match Group, the dating app giant whose portfolio includes Tinder, Match, and Hinge, the company says it has officially served the lawsuit. This effectively ends any opportunity for matters to be settled through private or internal negotiations.
"Regardless of how long it takes, it's something we're fully prepared to fight," CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd told Refinery29 of the Match Group lawsuit.
The dating app drama between the competitors dates back to August 2017, when Forbes reported Bumble rejected a buyout offer from Match Group. This March, Match Group filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Bumble, claiming the company — which was founded by three ex-Tinder executives, including Wolfe Herd — had "copied Tinder's world-changing, card-swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise."
In the countersuit that Bumble filed shortly after and officially served today, the company said it had rejected Match Group's original acquisition offer. When the dating app giant continued to express interest in a buyout, Bumble says it provided Match Group with confidential information, including active user counts and financial metrics. Shortly thereafter, the initial patent infringement lawsuit was filed.
"Any of the proceeds which we win — which we’re very confident we will — we will donate to female empowerment causes that further our mission and our values, and further our northern star of trying to combat misogyny at large."
Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble CEO & Founder
Bumble continues to grow rapidly, telling Refinery29 it's adding over 500,000 new users every week as it expands its international footprint. It's unclear how many of those new users are paying for premium features. Tinder, by comparison, added 299,000 subscribers to its premium model in the second quarter of 2018 — but Wolfe Herd says Bumble's growth has "exceeded internal and external expectations" and the company's revenue is at an annual run rate of $200 million. That doubles Bumble's reported $100 million in revenue in 2017. Wolfe Herd also says the company is exploring an IPO.
As for the lawsuit, it looks like court proceedings are set to follow.
"Any of the proceeds we win — which we’re very confident we will — we will donate to female empowerment causes that further our mission and our values, and further our northern star of trying to combat misogyny at large."
Refinery29 has reached out to Match Group for comment.