Whitney Wolfe Herd
Whitney Wolfe Herd
July 1, 1989
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
|Education||Southern Methodist University|
|Occupation||Entrepreneur, Business executive|
|Known for||Founder and CEO of Bumble|
|Net worth||$290 million |
Andrey Andreev, the founder of Badoo, contacted Herd about creating a dating platform and partnered with her on a new company in 2014, launching Bumble that year. Bumble is launching into new verticals such as BumbleBizz, and launched BumbleBFF for finding friends. According to Forbes, the company is valued at more than $1 billion.
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. Wolfe Herd was named as one of 2017's and 2018's Forbes 30 Under 30. Wolfe Herd was also named one of Inc's 15 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch Out For in 2017. She was featured on the covers of Forbes, Fast Company, and Wired UK. In April 2018, she was named in the TIME 100 List.
Early life and education
Wolfe Herd was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to property developer Michael Wolfe and his wife Kelly. Wolfe Herd attended Judge Memorial Catholic High School. When she was in 4th grade, the family did a sabbatical in Paris, France, and she became fluent in French as a result.
Wolfe Herd attended Southern Methodist University, where she majored in International Studies. She was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Her junior year she studied abroad at Sorbonne University in Paris. While in college and at the age of 19, she started a business selling bamboo tote bags benefiting 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. After graduating, Wolfe Herd traveled to Southeast Asia where she worked with orphanages.
At age 22, Wolfe Herd joined Hatch Labs. Through Hatch, she became involved with the startup Cardify, a project led by Sean Rad through Hatch Labs IAC incubator. The project was later abandoned, but Wolfe Herd joined the dating app Tinder with Rad, Chris Gulczynski in 2012 within the IAC startup incubator.
Wolfe Herd became vice president of marketing for Tinder and was reportedly behind the name of the app, taking the idea from the flame logo and having used tinder (small sticks) to start the fireplace at her father's cabin in Montana. She has also been credited with fueling its popularity on college campuses and growing its user base. Wolfe Herd left the company in 2014. Her departure from Tinder was in part due to growing tensions with other company executives. After leaving the company, Herd filed a lawsuit against Tinder for sexual harassment. Wolfe Herd reportedly received more than $1 million settlement in addition to stock in the company.
Andrey Andreev, founder of Badoo, contacted Wolfe Herd about creating a dating platform and partnered with her, and the company remains majority owned by Badoo. Wolfe Herd moved to Austin, Texas and founded Bumble, a dating app that gives women more control than traditional dating apps, in December 2014. By December 2015, the app had reached over 15 million unique conversations and 80 million matches.
As of April 2016, Tinder and Bumble are the first and fourth most popular dating apps respectively, according to monthly user base. As of November 2017, Bumble had amassed over 22 million registered users. In January 2018, CNBC reported that Badoo was seeking a sale that could value the company at about $1.5 billion.
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 March 2019, Wolfe Herd testified before the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence committee about an issue of unsolicited explicit photos sent to female users on dating applications.
In April 2019, Wolfe released the first print issue of Bumble Mag in partnership with Hearst.
Chappy was co-founded by Jack Rogers, Max Cheremkin and Ollie Locke. Its funding comes from dating giant Bumble and its CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd.
Wolfe Herd, impressed by the team's unique approach, led a seed round investment in Chappy. 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.”
She is married to Michael Herd.
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- Leora Yashari (August 7, 2015). "Meet the Tinder Co-Founder Trying to Change Online Dating Forever". Vanity Fair.
- Ryan Mac (January 3, 2017). "2017 30 Under 30: Consumer Technology – 28 of 30". Forbes.
- Clare O'Connor (November 14, 2017). "Billion-Dollar Bumble: How Whitney Wolfe Herd Built America's Fastest-Growing Dating App". Forbes.
- Alex Sherman, Leslie Picker (January 23, 2018). "Badoo, the majority owner of the dating app Bumble, is seeking a sale that could value the company at $1.5 billion". CNBC.
- "A look at 42 women in tech who crushed it in 2017". TechCrunch. December 22, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
- "Texas May Outlaw Unsolicited Sexual Images. Would That Be Enforceable—and Does It Even Matter?". Texas Monthly. March 28, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- "Bumble goes to print with its new lifestyle magazine, Bumble Mag". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- Bumble invests in gay dating app Chappy
- Techcrunch December 14, 2016
- "Report: Grindr's Chinese owner Kunlun is selling the dating app after CFIUS raised personal data concerns". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- Macon, Alexandra (October 5, 2017). "Bumble Founder Whitney Wolfe's Whirlwind Wedding Was a True Celebration of Southern Italy". Vogue. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- How I Built This: Bumble (audio interview)