Whitney Wolfe Herd

Whitney Wolfe Herd (born July 5, 1989)[1] is an American entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of publicly traded Bumble, Inc, an online dating platform, launched in 2014. She was previously the vice president of marketing for Tinder.[2] Wolfe Herd was named as one of 2017's and 2018's Forbes 30 Under 30, and in 2018 she was named in the Time 100 List.[3][4][5] In February 2021, Wolfe Herd became the world's youngest, female, self-made billionaire when she took Bumble public.[6] She is the youngest woman to have taken a company public, at age 31.[7]

Whitney Wolfe Herd
TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2018 - day 2 (30647055838).jpg
Born
Whitney Wolfe

July 1989 (age 33)
NationalityAmerican
EducationSouthern Methodist University, Texas
Occupation
  • Entrepreneur
  • Business executive
Known forFounder & CEO of Bumble
Spouse
Michael Herd
(m. 2017)
Children2

Early life and educationEdit

Wolfe Herd was born as Whitney Wolfe in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Kelly Wolfe, who was Catholic, and Michael Wolfe, wealthy property developer, who was Jewish.[8][9] Wolfe Herd attended Judge Memorial Catholic High School. When she was in fourth grade, the family went on a sabbatical in Paris, France.

Wolfe Herd attended Southern Methodist University, where she majored in international studies and was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.[10][11] While in college and at the age of 20, she started a business selling bamboo tote bags to benefit areas affected by the BP oil spill. Wolfe Herd partnered with celebrity stylist Patrick Aufdenkamp to launch the non-profit organization called the "Help Us Project". The bags received national press after celebrities such as Rachel Zoe and Nicole Richie were photographed with them.[12][13] Soon after, she introduced a second business with Aufdenkamp called "Tender Heart", a clothing line dedicated to raising awareness around human trafficking and fair trade.[12] After graduating, Wolfe Herd traveled to Southeast Asia where she worked with orphanages.[14][15]

CareerEdit

Early careerEdit

In 2012, at age 22, Wolfe Herd joined the startup Cardify, a project led by Sean Rad through Hatch Labs IAC incubator. The project was later abandoned, but Wolfe Herd joined the development team for the dating app Tinder (previously known as MatchBox) with Rad and Chris Gulczynski.[16][17][18]

Wolfe Herd became vice president of marketing for Tinder.[11][15] She was reportedly behind the name of the app, taking inspiration from the flame logo and the idea of tinder, which is easily combustible material used to start a fire.[19] She has also been credited with fueling its popularity on college campuses and growing its user base.[20][better source needed]

Wolfe Herd resigned from Tinder in April 2014 due to growing tensions with other company executives. On June 30 she filed a lawsuit against Tinder for sexual harassment.[21][22] She reportedly received more than US$1 million as well as stock as part of a settlement in September 2014.[11][23]

Having received online hate, Wolfe Herd started sketching out a female-only social network centered around compliments which was to be called Merci.[24] Even though she didn't want to go back to the dating industry initially, in the following months she cooperated with Badoo founder Andrey Andreev on assembling a team and developing a new female-friendly dating app. She planned to name the app Moxie, but this name was already taken.[25]

Bumble, Inc (2014 - present)Edit

In December 2014, Wolfe Herd moved to Austin, Texas, and founded Bumble, a female-focused dating app.[22][15][26] By December 2015, the app had reached over 15 million conversations and 80 million matches.[22] After Wolfe Herd left Tinder, Andrey Andreev, founder of Badoo, contacted her about creating a dating platform and partnered with her,[27][10][11] and the company remains majority owned by Badoo.[3]

 
Herd in 2016

As of November 2017, Bumble had over 22 million registered users.[28] In January 2018, CNBC reported that Badoo was seeking a sale that could value the company at about $1.5 billion.[29]

Wolfe Herd was named one of Business Insider's 30 Most Important Women Under 30 In Tech in 2014.[30] In 2016, she was named as one of Elle's Women in Tech.[31] She was named to Forbes 30 under 30 in 2017 and 2018.[32][4]

In December 2017, she was listed in a TechCrunch feature on 42 women succeeding in tech that year.[33]

As of September 2019, Tinder and Bumble were the first and second most popular dating apps in the U.S., with monthly user bases of 7.9 million and 5 million, respectively.[34]

In March 2019, Wolfe Herd testified before the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence committee about the prevalence of unsolicited explicit photos sent to female users on dating applications.[35]

In April 2019, Wolfe released the first print issue of Bumble Mag in partnership with Hearst.[36]

In November 2019, Bumble's parent company MagicLab was sold to the private equity firm The Blackstone Group, with co-founder Andreev relinquishing his entire stake in both Bumble and its sister company, Badoo. Wolfe Herd became CEO of the newly acquired MagicLab, valued at $3 billion with an estimated 75 million users, and received an ownership stake of approximately 19% of the company.[37]

In 2020, Bumble replaced MagicLab as the parent company of both Bumble and Badoo. As of 2020, Bumble has over 100 million users worldwide.[38]

In February 2021, Bumble topped $13 billion in valuation after listing shares on the Nasdaq exchange.[39] Her 18-month-old son was on her hip as she rang the Nasdaq bell.[40]

In 2021, Wolfe Herd became the world's youngest self-made female billionaire after taking Bumble public. Forbes estimated her net worth at approximately $1.5 billion.[41]

ChappyEdit

UK-based gay dating app Chappy was co-founded by Jack Rogers, Max Cheremkin and Ollie Locke and funded primarily by Bumble and Wolfe Herd.[42]

Wolfe Herd, impressed by the Chappy team's unique approach, led a seed round investment in Chappy.[43] In 2016, TechCrunch wrote: "The company is not disclosing the details of the investment, but they did say that Bumble is the sole investor in the round and will take an equity stake. In exchange, Bumble will be offering product development and marketing support."[43]

Similar to Bumble, Chappy was majority-owned by Andrey Andreev and being developed under the umbrella of the Badoo group.[44] The app was shut down in 2020.[45]

Personal lifeEdit

In December 2013, she met oil and gas heir Michael Herd on an Aspen skiing trip.[46] They married in 2017.[46] In December 2019, the couple announced the birth of their first child.[47]

In 2022, Forbes listed Wolfe Herd at number 33 of the top 100 "America's richest self-made women," up from number 39 in 2020.[48][49]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Chronicle, Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Chron com / Houston (July 10, 2019). "Texas entrepreneur, Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd celebrates 30th birthday amid company rumors". Chron. Archived from the original on October 29, 2021. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  2. ^ "How I Built This". NPR. Archived from the original on January 28, 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
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  4. ^ a b "Forbes Releases 2018 Edition of the 30 Under 30 List". Forbes. November 14, 2017. Archived from the original on November 14, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  5. ^ Anita Sarkeesian. "Whitney Wolfe Herd". Time. Archived from the original on August 5, 2022. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
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  12. ^ a b Hilary Hirschfeld (November 3, 2010). "SMU senior Whitney Wolfe launches second business, clothing line Tender Heart". Daily Campus. Archived from the original on September 3, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
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  22. ^ a b c Todd C. Frankel (December 2, 2015). "Whitney Wolfe, founder of dating app Bumble, has had quite the year. She just can't discuss parts of it". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  23. ^ Kosoff, Maya. "Report: Ousted Tinder Cofounder Settled Her Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against The Company For 'Just Over $1 Million'". Business Insider. Archived from the original on February 13, 2021. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
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External linksEdit