Austin-based Bumble on Thursday launched a new service called “BumbleSpot,” where matched users can meet in Bumble-verified locations around town.
The female-focused dating app launched in 2014 and has since expanded to "BumbleBizz" for business networking and "BumbleBFF" for making friends. Bumble has more than 43 million users worldwide.
Austin’s first BumbleSpot locations are Caroline Restaurant, Upstairs at Caroline, W Hotel Living Room Bar, Jo's Coffee, Craftsman, Wild Chix and Waffles, Dirty Bills and Be More Pacific.
“The idea for BumbleSpot is to create a network of physical locations across the U.S. and Canada that support our mission to end misogyny and empower women in their relationships across all aspects of life,” said Andee Olson, director of partnerships at Bumble.
The company will add more Austin locations in the future, Olson said.
“We know that our Bumble users make digital connections obviously on our app,” Olson told the American-Statesman, adding that users must often meet in person in order for there to be a successful connection. “We wanted to make sure everything was safe — that it was Bumble approved and verified.”
Local marketing managers spearheaded the search for safe coffee shops, bars, hotels and other locations for safe Bumble meetup spots. And in Austin, Bumble staff members had an opportunity to weigh in because the company is headquartered here, Olson said.
The companies that are selected do not have to pay to be a BumbleSpot.
“We just ask they adhere to our values” of kindness and respect,” Olson said. The businesses must also provide discounts or special offers to Bumble users.
Moxy Hotels will be the company’s first nationwide partner designated as a BumbleSpot, the company said. Five additional Moxy locations will participate in BumbleSpot offerings through the end of the year, including hotels in Seattle, New Orleans, Tempe, New York’s Times Square and Minneapolis.
Additional locations will be added across the U.S. and Canada over the next year.
Since its launch in 2014, Bumble has focused on English-speaking markets. But now the company is going global, with launches in Germany and Mexico, and plans to expand in Europe, Latin America and Asia.
In September, Bumble made headlines when CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd told CNBC the company’s growth is outpacing expectations and added that the company is "actively pursuing" an initial public offering of stock.
The company generates revenue using a subscription model that offers some free features and charges for additional services.
Wolfe Herd said Bumble plans to add advertising to the platform next year and is looking at other ways to boost revenue beyond dating and friend-finding.