Article By Rhyma Castillo
~ MARCH 2022 ~
While many companies are discontinuing their services in Russia and its allied countries as the invasion of Ukraine continues, this situation gives Pat Benatar’s song “Love is a Battlefield” a whole new meaning.
This week, the popular dating app Bumble announced it would shut down services in Russia and Belarus amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. So, since Bumble is going down in those countries, does that mean everyone in the area is going to have to switch to flirting in person? Big yikes.
The company made the decision public in a March 8 press release, announcing that it’s “discontinuing its operations in Russia, as well as removing all of its apps from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in Russia and Belarus.”
With a combined population of over 150 million users in Russia and Belarus, it may seem like losing users in those countries would be a huge blow for Bumble. However, for the multi-million dollar company, this loss only translates to a small percentage of annual revenues.
The company laid the numbers out quite frankly: “The combined revenue from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus was approximately 2.8% of total Bumble Inc. annual revenue in 2021,” the press release outlined, with the majority of money coming from associated apps and products. When it came to revenue from the actual Bumble app itself, the numbers were even smaller: “Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine contribute less than 0.1% of Bumble App revenue.” Dang Bumble, I wish I were that good at cutting off my destructive exes.
Bumble also took to Twitter to make its stance in supporting Ukraine clear. “We stand with women everywhere, every day,” the company wrote in a March 4 tweet. “Bumble is supporting the International Rescue Committee (@RESCUEorg) in assisting women and families affected by the crisis in Ukraine.”
Founded in late 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd and Andrey Andreev, the Texas-based dating app became world-famous for being “female focused” by requiring women to message first, which prevents a lot of unsolicited cheesy pickup lines from landing in your DMs.
Bumble is just one in a long — and growing ever-longer — list of corporations pulling their business out of Russia (and in some cases, its ally, Belarus) following the nation’s Feb. 24 invasion of its neighbor, Ukraine. Among them are Starbucks, IKEA, H&M, Pepsi, and even McDonald’s. The Western companies’ en masse departure from Russia both highlights the international condemnation of Russia and also puts economic pressure on the aggressor nation, which has also seen many of its major banks banned from international financial systems and the value of its currency drop like a lead balloon.
In Ukraine, the Russian invasion has taken a much more serious toll than a couple of missed hookups. As of March 11, hundreds of civilians have been reported killed — the true number is likely much higher — and more than a million have fled the country. Photos of bombed maternity wards and residential buildings have illustrated the human cost to the nation, and the international community has rallied in its support.
Thousands of Russian civilians have also reportedly been arrested for protesting the war.
While Russians have apparently turned to stockpiling Big Macs, getting backups on your love life is a harder sell. Ukraine’s resistance blockades Russians, and Bumble’s just blocks them.