Match said in a statement that the suit was necessary for "protecting the intellectual property" of its business. However, TechCrunch sources had noted that Bumble turned down Match's offers to buy the company in summer 2017. And when a Recode contact understood that Match was still interested in acquiring Bumble, it's not hard to see the lawsuit as a pressure tactic to make Bumble accept a buyout offer it would otherwise reject. If it doesn't give in, it might have to pay steep damages and change the core functionality of its app. We've asked Bumble if it can comment on the lawsuit.
Bumble isn't done swiping left on Tinder's parent company Match Group. After publishing an open letter excoriating Match, the women-focused dating app has filed a lawsuit against Tinder's owner, accusing it of stealing trade secrets, among other things. Match started the legal battle when it sued Bumble for allegedly violating its patents, but TechCrunch says this isn't Bumble's response to that lawsuit -- it's a separate one altogether. In the complaint, Bumble argued that the patent lawsuit is baseless but admitted that the two were discussing acquisition over the past few months. It said that when Match found out other companies were interested in either acquiring Bumble or investing in it, Match filed that patent lawsuit to make the dating service less appealing to rival buyers and investors.
If you're still looking for a date before Valentine's Day, Bumble may be able to help. The company announced a new feature called Spotlight that puts you front and center whenever people in your area open up the app. Once activated, you'll get 30 minutes of line cutting and will be seen by far more Bumble users than you would during a normal swiping session. To activate the Spotlight, users will have to pony up two Bumble Coins, the company's in-app currency that has to be bought with real money. Bumble Coins can be bought in bundles as small as five Coins for $8 or up to 30 coins for $35.
With travel and dating impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbnb and Bumble have been struggling to adapt and stay relevant. Now, the two companies are joining forces. Today, Airbnb is introducing a collection of Bumble-approved online experiences -- "perfect for spicing up virtual dates." Last month, Airbnb created online experiences, making things like tours, classes and workshops available via Zoom. And Bumble added a Virtual Date badge for users who are open to dating via video chat.