To get the world’s youngest self–made woman billionaire title is not a small feat, and here is dating app Bumble’s 31-year-old Founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, who has been declared just that, according to Forbes.
Bumble, a social and dating app, was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd, an American entrepreneur, in 2014, soon after she left Tinder, another dating app.
In its first move in the stock market after listing on Thursday, the shares of Bumble Inc, backed by Blackstone Group Inc, soared more than 76%, fetching a whopping $14 billion valuation.
The companies shares opened at $76 on the Nasdaq, well above its Initial public offering (IPO) price of $43 per share.
The Texas-based Bumble that operates two major apps – Bumble and Badoo raised its IPO price to $43/share to sell 50 million shares, taking the company’s valuation to $8.2 billion, an up from the $3 billion valuations in 2019.
Bumble’s move has placed it firmly along with the ranks of other big bang tech IPOs – Airbnb and DoorDash.
The stock market’s success has now placed the 31 – year-old founder, Whitney Wolfe Herd, firmly among the few ranks of women billionaires.
In an interview on Thursday, the young CEO said even though people were hunkered in their houses because of the pandemics, it had also encouraged people to build a relationship and meet new people on their phones.
Bumble is unique from the other operators in the business as its approach is a “women-first approach,” and its major revenue generation is primarily from premium subscriptions.
The company, in the first nine months of 2020, reported $376.6 million in revenues, according to the filings.
The Bumble app had 1.1 million paying users with 1.3 million on the Badoo app and other services.
However, this six-year-old app also faces stiff competition from Hinge and Tinder; Bumble Inc’s two dating apps – Bumble and Badoo-are promoted by Serena Williams and our homegrown Priyanka Chopra.
It had also sold a majority of stock to Blackstone Group in 2019 and filed for an IPO on the NASDAQ in January 2021; it had then revealed that it had 42 million users.
31 and making a mark – Whitney Wolfe Herd, her adventure started young
Herd’s early years are as impressive as what she is achieving in the world today – while still in college and 20; she started a business of selling bamboo tote bags to benefit areas that had been affected by the BP oil spill.
She also partnered with celebrity stylist Patrick Aufdenkamp to launch a non – profit organization called the “Help Us Project.” Her bamboo tote bags received national press coverage after the celebrities such as Rachel Zoe, and Nichole Richie were seen carrying the bags.
Soon after this first success, Herd introduced her second business with Aufdenkamp called “Tender Heart,” which was a clothing line dedicated to raising awareness on the issues of human trafficking and fair trade.
Once she graduated from college, she traveled to South East Asia and worked with orphanages.
She joined Hatch Labs at the age of 22, and while her stint there, she joined the development team for the dating app Tinder in 2012; she became the vice president of marketing for Tinder.
Herd is also reportedly behind the naming of the app – Tinder and is also credited with the growing popularity of the app on college campuses as well as growing its user base.
However, she let Tinder in 2014 owing to growing tensions with other company executives; she also filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Tinder after leaving the company and reportedly received more than $1 million-plus stocks as part of the settlement.
The same year in 2014, she founded Bumble – a female-focused dating app. The app was well received and by the end of 2015 has reached over 15 million conversations and 80 million matches.
After leaving Tinder, Herd was contacted by the founder of Badoo, Andrey Andreev, about creating a dating platform and partnered with her, and the company remains majority owned by Badoo.
Herd’s surge and accomplishments
- Wolfe Herd was named one of Business Insider’s 30 Most Important Women Under 30 In Tech in 2014.
- In 2016, she was named as one of Elle’s Women in Tech.
- She was named to Forbes 30 under 30 in 2017 and 2018
- In December 2017, Herd was listed in a TechCrunch feature on 42 women succeeding in Tech that year.
- In 2020, Forbes listed Herd at number 39 of the top 100 “America’s richest self-made women.”
However, there has also been a scandal that came to light in 2019; Badoo was subject to Forbes’s investigative report, which outlined workplace misogyny, drug use, and sexual and racial discrimination.
Badoo employees, including women, had reportedly spoken about a workplace culture after parties within the company that involved using recreational drugs and prostitutes, along with several instances of sexual harassment and assault. However, Herd told Forbes and denied any wrongdoings from Andreev ( the Co-Founder).
In 2020, Bumble replaced MagicLab as the parent company of both Bumble and Badoo, and as of 2020, Bumble has more than 100 million subscribers worldwide.