Meetup stock isn’t available to trade yet. So while you wait to see if they’ll go public, learn more about them. It wasn’t until this post that I’d even heard of Meetup. Zoom and Discord I’d heard of. So this was a new company for me.
What is Meetup?
Meetup is an online service that helps organize and schedule group outings for people with similar interests. It is effectively an online party planning service that anyone can use to organize an event.
Meetup even allows you to plan virtual events, which certainly came in handy for people during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company was founded back in 2002 by Scott Heiferman who is still the Chairman, despite a change in ownership. Meetup is headquartered in New York City.
Heiferman thought of the idea for Meetup following the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. Following the attack, Heiferman met some of his neighbors for the first time and realized the interests they had in common. He also believed that the attack had destroyed a bit of the community feel of America, and was determined to bring that sense of community back. Heiferman founded the company with five other co-founders, and quickly found funding from private investors.
As for the ownership of Meetup, Heiferman sold the brand to the controversial co-working company WeWork (NYSE: WE) back in 2017. In turn, WeWork sold Meetup to a New York focused venture capital fund called AlleyCorp in 2020. Through this all, Heiferman remains the Chairman of the company, which is always a positive for potential investors. At the time of the sale to AlleyCorp, Meetup had over 49 million registered users. It also has an enterprise solutions segment that serves companies like Adobe, Google, Microsoft, IBM, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Can I Buy Meetup Stock?
Despite Meetup being acquired by two different companies, neither of them has brought the brand to the public market. WeWork acquired the company in 2017 but was not yet a publicly-traded company as it debuted earlier in 2021. AlleyCorp is a private investment fund so there is little chance that it would put Meetup on the stock market either.
It also does not seem like Heiferman himself is interested in taking Meetup public as he has been running the company for more than twenty years now. But hey, as we always say at the Bullish Bears, anything can happen. You never know when Meetup will be acquired again and a new ownership group will have other ideas for the company.
It may require Heiferman to step away from the brand so it might not be as likely as you would think, but in the world of tech companies and venture capital funds, anything is possible. Including Meetup stock.
Can I Join Meetup?
Yes! Meetup is available to all users and you are free to register and create your own account. You can join an event or even create your own if you choose to and make it in person or completely online! Sign up for Meetup as an individual, a group, or as a company! It is an excellent way to raise awareness about your brand or company online, by hosting an online event that anyone on Meetup can attend! However, you can’t buy Meetup stock.
Is Meetup Free?
It is completely free to create an account, as well as host a free event. There are no charges for being a member of Meetup and no subscription fees either! What we cannot guarantee is that you will not have to pay to attend certain events. Some events are exclusively held for members of a particular club or company.
Other events are paid where you have to pay for a virtual ticket to watch or join in the event. The paid ticket or exclusive membership to the event is a smart business model for two reasons. First, it ensures that the users who attend the event are committed to it and want to be there enough to pay. Second, it also protects the event from being hacked by people who may want to hijack the virtual meeting.
Are There Other Stocks Like Meetup Stock?
Yes! As unique as the concept of Meetup seems, there is a growing industry for companies in this business. Pandemic aside, more of our work and social interactions are happening virtually these days.
It makes sense for enterprise solutions as the company can save on travel costs for face to face meetings. Socially, virtual meetups are making the world a smaller place and allowing people from all corners of the globe to seamlessly interact.
Here are some other stocks that you can invest in today that offer a similar service to Meetup since you can’t trade Meetup stock.
Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ: ZM): At one point in the pandemic, Zoom was the clear winner with a stock price north of $451 per share. Today, the stock is trading at just under $200 per share, showing just how much it has struggled in 2021.
Why has Zoom’s stock been struggling? It’s hard to say really. This year has been a major year of consolidation for growth stocks after they surged so much in 2020. Zoom was probably getting ahead of itself in terms of its stock valuation, despite its incredible success during the pandemic.
Zoom quickly became the video platform of choice for both personal and business use. But as is usually the case when it comes to technology, others moved in and added competition. Specifically, in this case, it was Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) that pushed its Teams video platform to enterprise operating systems around the world. What does the future hold for Zoom? Well, for potential investors you might be getting a discount on Zoom at its current stock price. Unless you really believe strongly in the long-term usage of virtual meetings, then Zoom stock might be a pass.
Match.Com (NASDAQ: MTCH): I know, Match.com is a company that manages dating sites, but it is a competition for Meetup. Match.com is the premier dating app company that owns popular platforms like Plenty of Fish, Hinge, and Tinder.
The stock has been a solid investment returning over 300% over the past five years and was another company that boomed during the pandemic.
With in-person dating temporarily unavailable, it was up to dating apps like Tinder to connect people who were looking for romance.
Bumble (NASDAQ: BMBL): Bumble was another high profile IPO that had a timely debut on Wall Street right before Valentine’s Day. The stock was doing really well out of the gate but has fallen off a cliff since then.
Shares of Bumble are now trading at nearly half the price of the day of its IPO. Bumble is an interesting business because it is a more female-centric approach to dating.
It is founded by women for women, who have all of the power within the app. According to its most recent earnings call, Bumble has over 42 million active users with over 1.2 million of them subscribing to a premium membership.
More Stocks To Consider
Eventbrite (NYSE: EB): Eventbrite can probably be considered more of a direct competitor to Meetup than dating sites. It is an all in one event management and ticket selling website that has been around since 2006. This makes Eventbrite older than Meetup, although the former has a higher valuation as a company. Eventbrite allows you to plan and find events you’d like to attend but does focus more on in-person rather than virtual. The stock has been rather disappointing for investors and was hammered down when the pandemic started. Since the company went public shares are actually down by over 53%. While it is a worthy competitor to Meetup, I would not put Eventbrite very high on my stock watchlist.
Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV): I am sure we all know what Live Nation is: it is the merged company of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. In terms of mainstream events, the platform has a near monopoly on ticket sales. If ever you want to find a way to go to a live event, Live Nation usually has you covered. Live Nation’s stock has actually performed better than most people would assume, especially considering the global pandemic stopped performances for the better part of two years. Shares of Live Nation have returned nearly 300% over the past five years, including 46% over the past 52-weeks.
Meetup is a company that thrived during the pandemic as more events were moved to a virtual setting. But as with many companies that were provided a boost from COVID-19, it may not last forever. Virtual meeting and event planning surged over the past couple of years. And Meetup should continue to see business booming as new variants work to extend the pandemic into the future. Unfortunately, for investors who are looking to take advantage of this, Meetup is not a publicly-traded company. As a result, no Meetup stock. If you want to invest in event management and planning, you will have to check out one of the alternate stocks we suggested.