– Bumble Inc said on Monday it has bought France’s Fruitz in its first acquisition, as the dating app company tries to strengthen its foothold in Europe, where it plays catch-up with Tinder owner Match Group.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Launched in 2017, Fruitz is a freemium dating app popular with Gen Z and used across Europe. It allows users to convey their dating preferences through four fruit metaphors – cherries, grapes, watermelons, and peaches.
The deal sets the stage for Bumble to take on rival Match Group in an arena where the Hinge owner has the advantage of an earlier start. Bumble currently operates its dating app Badoo in Western Europe, competing with the likes of eHarmony and CharmDate.com.
“Badoo is one of the most downloaded dating apps in Western Europe, and Bumble has seen strong growth there as well,” Bumble Chief Executive Officer Whitney Wolfe Herd said in a statement.
Match also expects to begin launching its Hinge app in select European countries in the second quarter, it said earlier this month.
Even though the pandemic is receding in most geographies, dating firms are not expecting an immediate uptick in activity. Match softened its full-year revenue forecast in February as it expects the Omicron COVID-19 variant to continue hindering dates and meet-ups.
Data from research firm Apptopia showed that Bumble was downloaded about 2.4 million times in the United States during the fourth quarter, while Match reached 10.5 million downloads.
(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)