Whitney Wolfe, founder, CEO, and 20% owner of Bumble; a women’s empowerment dating app, understands the obstacles women often must face. Also a founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe left in 2014 she was wrongly stripped of her founders title, harassed and discriminated against by Justin Mateen her ex-boss and boyfriend. Wolfe sued, Mateen denied any wrongdoing but was suspended and eventually resigned. The lawsuit was quickly settled for $1 million.
Wolfe then formed the idea for a feminine approach to dating apps. Andrey Andreev of Badoo; the world’s largest online dating network, took notice of Whitney Wolfe sending letters requesting her to work for him. Whitney simply responded “I’m not for hire”. However she did pitch her feminine dating app idea, Andreev was intrigued. In exchange for 79% of the company Andreev invested over 10 million for marketing and growth.
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In December of 2014 Bumble was released; an app where after a match is made the female must first initiate a conversation or the match will vanish in 24 hours. Bumble exceeded expectations with 100,000 downloads in the first month. Now America’s fastest growing dating app, Bumble, has 22 million users with an annual growth of 70%. In 2017 Bumble crossed 100 million in sales due to in-app purchases. When asked about entering the most crowded and established digital market Whitney Wolfe responded “Crowded meant ‘for men’” and she’s proud going into a “crowded space and do it differently”. The match Group, which owns Tinder, sued Bumble accusing them of violating patents and trademarks, Bumble replied in an open letter “We swipe left on your multiple attempts to buy us, copy us, and now intimidate us” filing a countersuit accusing match of using misleading tactics to obtain private information and attempting to scare off potential investors.
This was all after Whitney Wolfe turned down a 430 million dollar buyout from match, on the subject Wolfe said “I just don’t harbour resentment… – I’m too busy.”. Bumbles’ success is partially thanks to focusing on women’s needs, but also to its overall inviting theme. It’s no wonder people scrambled to get their hands on bumble sweaters, it’s a company people can be “Proud enough to say I’m on the service”.