Whitney Wolfe began in the field of online dating as a co-founder and key executive with the groundbreaking Tinder venture. She left Tinder under a cloud of harassment accusations against her partner. She settled her harassment claims for about $1M and seemed to separate from the dating app business as well.
In 2014, Whitney Wolfe formed some ideas about using an app to empower women’s choice. The idea was essentially for a system that provided an opportunity for women to initiates a discussion that could lead to many things including romance. With funding from a Russian investor that she had encountered while at Tinder, she initiated a project that eventually became Bumble.
Bumble was an instant hit with a large initial month signup and now has grown to millions of subscribers. Forbes has valued the enterprise at more than $1B. A recent development involved an offer to buy Bumble from the parent company of Tinder and Match.com. The reported offer was in the range of $450M, and Ms. Wolfe rejected it. Thereafter, the failed purchaser initiated a legal action claiming that Bumble infringed on Tinder’s patented processes. While that legal action proceeds to an uncertain conclusion, there is no doubt that Whitney Wolfe’s success has put her in the upper echelon of women business owners and entrepreneurs.
Whitney Wolfe’s personal life changed as she married and now also uses the name Whitney Wolfe Herd. As a token of her celebrity status as a leading female entrepreneur, her wedding got international press coverage. As her personal life grew, her brand also grew substantially. Bumble has expanded to Bumble BFF, a friendship-oriented branch of the online connection service, and Bumble Biz which focuses on networking for business and social advantage. The essential premise of all of the Bumble activities remains; the woman must initiate the interaction.
Bumble is only four years old. If Bumble were a living person, it would not yet attend kindergarten. As a business, Bumble reflects the Whitney Wolfe vision for social empowerment for women. Bumble’s spectacular growth includes a global base, a presence in 144 countries, and more than 35 million users.