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Dating app Bumble unmatches Russia and its ally Belarus amid Ukraine invasion

The Bumble app, shown on an Apple iPhone. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
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Dating app Bumble is “discontinuing its operations” in Russia and neighboring Belarus, the company said, removing its apps from the Apple and Google play stores in both countries.

The Bumble company, which has its own eponymous dating app, is also the owner of Badoo and Fruitz — both of which are widely used across Europe.

The move comes as many companies around the world halt services, advertising and events in Russia amid growing economic pressure following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Those on the ever-growing boycott list range from McDonald’s and Coca-Cola to the Mercedes-Benz Group and Airbnb.

A list of companies still doing business in Russia circulated. McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Starbucks soon pulled out.

Bumble did not immediately reply to questions from The Washington Post on Wednesday, including inquiries about what sparked its decision. A spokesperson pointed instead to an earnings statement from Tuesday that forecast an approximately $20 million revenue loss over the course of 2022 from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, due to the conflict and the company’s decision to restrict its apps. It expects a $2 million hit in the first quarter.

Bumble said last week that it was “supporting the International Rescue Committee in assisting women and families affected by the crisis in Ukraine.”

“We stand with women everywhere, every day,” the app tweeted on March 4.

Russia, Belarus and Ukraine contribute less than 0.1 percent of the Bumble app’s revenue, the statement said. Figures released for last year estimate that the three nations provided approximately 2.8 percent of the entire company’s annual revenue in 2021, including all its units.

Russia boycott: A list of global campaigns that are underway in support of Ukraine

An estimated 2 million Ukrainians have fled since the start of the invasion, the United Nations said, with UNICEF estimating that at least half of them are children.

Bumble was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014 as a “female-first” product that allows women to make the first move with matches by initiating contact. If a message is not sent within 24 hours, the match disappears.

The app has since evolved to a broader networking service that helps people create “meaningful” and “healthy” connections, its website says.

Herd reportedly enlisted the help of Russian billionaire Andrey Andreev to create Bumble. Andreev, 48, was born in Moscow and founded social-networking site Badoo. He has a net worth of $2.1 billion, Forbes estimates.

A 2019 Forbes investigation reported that there was a toxic, misogynistic environment at the Badoo/Bumble headquarters in London, based on allegations from 13 former employees who placed Andreev at the center of the scandal.

While Andreev denied some of the allegations, he later sold his stake in MagicLab, the parent company of Badoo, and Bumble, a group valued at around $3 billion, the Financial Times reported.