November 8, 2023

Today's Topics

Hello! The debates we have around the Thanksgiving table this year might be the least informed we've had in years, according to a new poll that suggests our attention to national political news has fallen 10% since 2020. Today we're exploring:

  • Bumbled: Investors, and users, are dumping dating apps.
  • Pressing higher: Prices for olive oil continue to soar.
  • Odds and evens: New Delhi is exploring every fix for its air pollution problem.

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On Monday, Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder of dating app Bumble, announced that she was stepping down as CEO of the company she started in 2014, a day before the company gave an unremarkable update to investors, the combined effect of which is a share price that’s down ~7% this morning.

Wolfe Herd is dating app royalty. She was co-founder and VP of marketing at Tinder, before an acrimonious exit from the company, which included allegations of sexual harassment, led her to start Bumble — an app where women kick off the conversations. Bumble’s success took Wolfe Herd to billionaire status, though a heart-wrenching 81% slide in its share price (not including the latest drop) has recently seen Forbes give her the former billionaire” treatment.

But, it’s not just Bumble. Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, has also been through a rocky period, reporting a 5% decline in paying swipers last week, a trend that’s expected to worsen as price hikes take effect.

Not so hot

If you asked most people about the typical dating app user, most answers might include some reference to “younger folks” — but an increasing amount of evidence suggests that even they might be losing interest.

Indeed, an Axios/Generation Lab survey out this week revealed that a whopping 79% of US college students reported they don't use any dating apps even once a month, with only 12% admitting to using Tinder every month. To combat slipping user numbers, Tinder is focusing on those "highly motivated daters" by introducing a $499-a-monthVIP subscription.

Olio portfolio

While experts have long extolled the Mediterranean diet and its many benefits, one key ingredient of the continental cuisine is getting so expensive that even the most delectable dishes may begin to look unappetizing.

Indeed, olive oil prices have been soaring for months and keep hitting new multi-decade highs, as the regions producing the most "liquid gold" continue to battle arid conditions that have seen supplies shrink and sent the cost of the healthy fat up to $9,364 per metric ton, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The rocketing prices, which are now up more than 7x since a slump in December 2020, have been an ongoing issue around the world since a drought last summer, and it could be a little while yet until the oil industry begins to look slick again. The European Commission recently confirmed that production this year in countries like Spain, which is responsible for making almost 50% of the world’s olive oil in typical years, will only recover slightly from last season’s ~40% decline.

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New Delhi’s old problem

Early winter has rolled around again, bringing a now-common fact of life for New Delhi's 33 million residents: a lot of bad air. Indeed, India’s capital has been breaching the 450 mark on the Air Quality Index — over 4x the “healthy” level — as routine crop burning mixed with colder temperatures continues to blight the city.

The perfect storm of nearby farmers torching plants in early November and cold weather trapping particles from the blaze has plagued New Delhi for decades, but this year has seen some of the worst air quality postings since 2020. On Saturday, for example, State Department data showed that air quality around the US embassy in the capital hit 542, deep into the “hazardous” zone.

Odds and evens

Breathing in the New Delhi air is akin to smoking 25-30 cigarettes a day, according to some lung doctors, and the city, often ranked as one of the most polluted in the world, has been forced to take precautions. Schools are closed until the 10th and the ongoing Cricket World Cup, currently being played in the capital, has seen matches shrouded in smog. Interestingly, the government is also implementing an “odd-even” system for road users — vehicles with registrations ending in odd numbers can only drive on odd-numbered dates and vice versa — from Monday 13th, in a further effort to curb the ongoing issue.

More Data

• The share of Chinese adults who view the US as an “enemy” or “unfriendly” has slid 9% in the last 6 months to just under half, per a recent Morning Consult report.

• Fast fashion powerhouse Shein is reportedly seeking a $90 billion valuation for its US IPO, roughly 18x what The Gap is worth (~$5bn).

• The sequel to the record-shattering Grand Theft Auto V  — which sold 185 million copies — is close, as Rockstar Games announces new details on GTA 6.


• Here’s a visual deep dive into the rise of the American McMansion.

• Embark on a journey through time and space via this virtual James Webb Space Telescope.

Off the charts: Which company is this, that's finally stacking profits? [Answer below].

Answer here.

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