Blackstone Executive Explains Bumble Investment Strategy

Written by Dominic Whitlock

Blackstone’s co-Head of US Acquisitions Martin Brand took part in an interview with Bloomberg to discuss the company’s evolving investment strategy and provide some updates on Bumble, following its recent IPO.

Throughout the discussion he reiterated that Blackstone is always looking to invest in specific companies, rather than just general sectors. It’s important that Blackstone can add significant operational value and help the portfolio of businesses to grow.

Brand explained that the decision to work with Whitney Wolfe Herd was based on “supporting a visionary entrepreneur…to pursue the dreams of her business”.

Bumble’s market cap of over $7 billion means the private equity firm has a significant return on its investment. Some sources are speculating that it is approximately four times higher and, despite not giving away any exact figures, the Blackstone representative told Bloomberg that they were very pleased with the return in such a short period of time.

While the pandemic has helped accelerate the social company’s valuation, Brand denied any involvement of luck by stating that it was already on the upwards trajectory when the investment was first made.

He also assured that Blackstone is not looking to completely exit any time soon. Instead, he wants to continue offering long-term support to Bumble’s management team.

Looking to the future, Brand sees a lot of growth potential across the mobile app market and believes more investments could be made in the future. There’s also opportunities in travel and leisure, two sectors that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, he again stated that they must be sure to get involved in the right companies above anything else.

Watch the full interview here.

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