Blackstone (NYSE:BX) announced today that funds managed by Blackstone ("Blackstone") are taking a majority stake in MagicLab, which builds and operates leading dating and social networking apps, including Bumble and Badoo. The transaction values the company at approximately $3 billion.
Founded in 2006 by Andrey Andreev, MagicLab helped invent how people meet in the modern, mobile age. MagicLab’s suite of brands has connected and transformed the lives of over 500 million people around the world across dating, social, and business. The group shares a foundation of technology, talent, and experience to constantly innovate new ways for people to meet and create life-changing moments by building relationships. Over his career, Mr. Andreev has been at the forefront of innovation in the dating industry and has continued to invest in finding the most talented entrepreneurs and tech visionaries to mentor.
As part of the acquisition, Mr. Andreev will be selling his stake and stepping down from the business. He will be replaced as CEO by Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder and CEO of Bumble, who, together with Blackstone, will work to accelerate the business’ growth even further.
Commenting on the transaction, Andrey Andreev said: “Blackstone presented MagicLab with a great opportunity to further develop the brands and platform, and I am confident Blackstone will take MagicLab to the next level in terms of growth and expansion. I am incredibly proud of the company, and of how we have connected millions of people around the world. At MagicLab, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best and most talented entrepreneurs. My aim now is to ensure a smooth and successful transition before I embark on a new business venture in search of innovative leaders with new and exciting ideas. I am grateful for all the support of my partners and employees over the years as we couldn’t have gotten to this point without them. I wish MagicLab and Blackstone every success.”
Whitney Wolfe Herd added: “This transaction is an incredibly important and exciting moment for Bumble and the MagicLab group of brands and team members. Blackstone is world-class at maximizing the success of entrepreneur-led companies, which presents a tremendous opportunity. We are very excited to build the next chapter with them. I am honored to take on the role of CEO of the group. I will strive to lead the group with a continued values-based and mission-first focus, the same one that has been core to Bumble since I founded the company five years ago. We will keep working towards our goal of recalibrating gender norms and empowering people to connect globally, and now at a much faster pace with our new partner.”
Jon Korngold, Head of Blackstone Growth (BXG), said: “We’re excited to invest in MagicLab, which is a pioneer in the fast-growing online dating industry. They have a highly talented team and strong set of platforms, including Bumble, which was built on a commitment to inclusion and female empowerment. This partnership is a perfect example of Blackstone’s ability to use its scale, long-term investment horizon, and deep bench of operational resources to help entrepreneurs take advantage of transformational growth opportunities in order to create global industry leaders over time.”
Martin Brand, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, added: “We look forward to partnering with MagicLab to help fuel the company’s continued expansion in the years ahead.”
Citi Global Capital Markets Inc. is serving as an exclusive financial advisor to MagicLab and is providing financing in support of the acquisition by Blackstone. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is serving as legal advisor to Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble. Baker McKenzie is serving as legal advisor to the majority shareholders of MagicLab (including Andrey Andreev) and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal advisor to Blackstone.
Founded by Andrey Andreev, MagicLab invented how people meet in the modern, mobile age. Through its growing family of brands that include Badoo, Bumble, Chappy, and Lumen, MagicLab has connected and transformed the lives of over 500 million people around the world across dating, social, and business. Our group shares a foundation of technology, talent, and experience to constantly innovate new ways for people to meet and drive long-term growth.
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our asset management businesses, with $554 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at china.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.