Whitney Wolfe Herd, the 31-year-old female entrepreneur and CEO of Bumble is now the youngest female billionaire and also the youngest leading female CEO to take a company public.
Bumble is a popular dating app focused on catering to women by allowing them to make the first move. Bumble as a company went public on Nasdaq on 11th February 2021 Thursday. The shares of Bumble closed up to 63% on their initial public offering. Bumble topped $13 billion in valuation after listing shares on the Nasdaq exchange. Whitney pressed the button and took her company public while holding her 1-year-old son in her arms.
Whitney began her career at the age of 22 with Hatch Labs. While working at Hatch within IAC startup incubator, she worked on the development of various startup projects among which was a dating app now known as Tinder. She later became the Vice President of Marketing for Tinder, and the name Tinder is supposedly her brainchild including the idea behind the flame logo.
Wolfe parted ways with Tinder in 2014 due to being mistreated by other high-level executives and filed a lawsuit of sexual harassment against the company. After leaving Tinder Whitney moved back to Texas in December 2014 and created Bumble, a dating app specifically designed for women, allowing them to make the first move.
Bumble soon became a hit and by December 2015, it recorded almost 15 million conversations and 80 million matches. By 2017 Bumble had over 22 million registered users worldwide. In a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair Whitney was asked if she considered Bumble a feminist company? She said
“We are 100% feminist. If you look at where we are in the current heteronormative rules surrounding dating, the unwritten rule puts the woman a peg under the man—the man feels the pressure to go first in a conversation, and the woman feels pressure to sit on her hands. I don’t think there is any denying it. If we can take some of the pressure off the man and put some of that encouragement in the woman’s lap, I think we are taking a step in the right direction, especially in terms of really being true to feminism. I think we are the first feminist or first attempt at a feminist dating app.”
In 2016 Bumble banned one of their users for sexist behaviour after he verbally criticized a woman user on her appearance. They banned his account by publicly posting an open letter online titled “An Open Letter to Michael”.
Whitney married Michael Herd in 2017 and in 2019 the couple welcomed their first child Bobby Lee “Bo” Herd II.
Whitney, at the end of her IPO speech, thanked the women of bumble saying
“I want to thank the remarkable women who paved the way for Bumble in the public markets. By supporting and championing each other, we can break down barriers for the next generation of women and folks from marginalized communities. We can’t wait to cheer them on! Welcome to Bumble Inc.! Thank you.”
Whitney Wolfe Herd journey is truly an inspiration to all the aspiring young women entrepreneurs around the world.
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