Whitney Wolfe Herd
Whitney Wolfe Herd
|Born||July 1, 1989|
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
|Education||Southern Methodist University|
|Occupation||Entrepreneur, Business executive|
|Known for||Founder & CEO of Bumble|
|Net worth||$500 million|
Whitney Wolfe Herd (born July 1, 1989) is an American entrepreneur. She is founder and CEO of Bumble, a social and dating app, launched in 2014. In 2016 and 2017 respectively, Bumble launched BumbleBFF, an app for finding friends, and BumbleBizz, a professional networking app. 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 Michael Wolfe, who was Jewish, and Kelly Wolfe, who was Catholic. Wolfe Herd attended Judge Memorial Catholic High School. When she was in 4th grade, the family went on a sabbatical in Paris, France, where she became fluent in French.
Wolfe Herd attended Southern Methodist University, where she majored in International Studies and 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 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. 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. 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 development team for the dating app Tinder with Rad and Chris Gulczynski within the IAC startup incubator in 2012.
Wolfe Herd became vice president of marketing for Tinder. She was reportedly behind the name of the app, taking inspiration from the flame logo and the idea of tinder, (small sticks) used to ignite a fire. She has also been credited with fueling its popularity on college campuses and growing its user base. Wolfe Herd left the company in 2014 due to growing tensions with other company executives. After leaving the company, Wolfe Herd filed a lawsuit against Tinder for sexual harassment. She reportedly received more than $1 million plus stock as part of a settlement.
In December 2014, Wolfe Herd moved to Austin, Texas and founded Bumble, a female-focused dating app. By December 2015, the app had reached over 15 million conversations and 80 million matches. After Wolfe Herd left Tinder, Andrey Andreev, founder of Badoo, contacted her about creating a dating platform and partnered with her, and the company remains majority owned by Badoo.
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.
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.
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.
In April 2019, Wolfe released the first print issue of Bumble Mag in partnership with Hearst.
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.
Several months before the sale, in July 2019, Badoo was the subject of a Forbes investigative report outlining workplace misogyny, drug use, and sexual and racial discrimination. Badoo employees, including women, reported a culture of workplace afterparties involving use of recreational drugs and prostitutes, along with several instances of sexual assault and harassment. Wolf Herde, who previously sued Tinder for sexual harassment, denied any wrongdoing from Andreev, telling Forbes, "Andrey [Andreev] has never been anything but kind and respectful to me."
In 2020, Bumble replaced MagicLab as the parent company of both Bumble and Badoo. As of 2020, Bumble has over 100 million subscribers worldwide.
Wolfe Herd, impressed by the Chappy 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.”
Similarly to Bumble, Chappy is majority owned by Andrey Andreev and is being developed under umbrella of Badoo Group.
In December 2013, she met Michael Herd on an Aspen skiing trip and they married in 2017. In December 2019, the couple announced the birth of their first child on Instagram. Due to this, Wolfe Herd announced new parental benefits for Bumble employees in 2019, including bonuses, paid leave, and flexible start times.
In 2019, Forbes listed Herd at number 72 of the top 80 "richest self-made women."
- Josie Ensor (May 23, 2015). "Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe: 'The word 'feminist' seemed to put guys off, but now I realise, who cares?'". Telegraph.
- "How I Built This".
- Lee, Dami (October 2, 2017). "Bumble launches Bizz, a new mode for professional networking". The Verge. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
- "Bumble launches BFF, a feature to find new friends". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
- Clare O'Connor (November 14, 2017). "Billion-Dollar Bumble: How Whitney Wolfe Herd Built America's Fastest-Growing Dating App". Forbes. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- Kosoff, Maya. "The 30 Most Important Women Under 30 In Tech". Business Insider. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
- Molly Langmuir (May 13, 2016). "Meet Elle's 2016 Women in Tech". Elle.
- "Meet The Consumer Technology 30 Under 30 Class Of 2017".
- "Forbes Releases 2018 Edition of the 30 Under 30 List". Forbes. November 14, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
- "15 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch Out For in 2017".
- Valby, Karen (August 28, 2017). "Bumble's CEO Takes Aim at LinkedIn". Fast Company. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
- Tait, Amelia (August 30, 2017). "Swipe Right for Equality: How Bumble is Taking on Sexism". Wired UK. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
- "Whitney Wolfe Herd: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Time. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
- "Whitney Wolfe is Bringing Feminism to Your Phone". Austin Woman Magazine. April 1, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
- Amanda FitzSimons (November 27, 2017). "Whitney Wolfe Helped Women Score Dates. Now She Wants to Get Them Their Dream Job". ELLE. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- Wagman-Geller, Marlene (April 15, 2018). Women Who Launch: Women Who Shattered Glass Ceilings. Mango Media Inc. ISBN 978-1-63353-696-8.
- Charlotte Alter (May 15, 2015). "Whitney Wolfe Wants to Beat Tinder at Its Own Game". Time.
- Hannah Ellis-Petersen (April 12, 2015). "WLTM Bumble – A dating app where women call the shots". The Guardian.
- Suzannah Ramsdale. "Does Tinder empower women? This woman thinks so…". Marie Claire.
- Hilary Hirschfeld (November 3, 2010). "SMU senior Whitney Wolfe launches second business, clothing line Tender Heart". Daily Campus.
- "Meet Bumble chief executive Whitney Wolfe". The Washington Post. October 23, 2015.
- Sarah Thurmond (August 2, 2015). "Queen Bee". Austin Monthly.
- Kimya Kavehkar (March 7, 2016). "Whitney Wolfe: The Matchmaker". Paper Mag.
- Melissah Yang (January 29, 2015). "Whitney Wolfe Says Goodbye Tinder, Hello Bumble". Los Angeles Business Journal.
- Shontell, Alyson. "What It's Like To Found A $750 Million Startup, Go Through A Sexual-Harassment Lawsuit, And Start All Over By Age 25". Business Insider.
- "Whitney Wolfe: The Woman Who Took Tinder To Court – And Came Back Fighting". Grazia. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- Tucker Cummings (July 1, 2014). "Tinder's Whitney Wolfe: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.
- 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.
- Kosoff, Maya. "Report: Ousted Tinder Cofounder Settled Her Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against The Company For 'Just Over $1 Million'". Business Insider. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- Bennett, Jessica (March 18, 2017). "With Her Dating App, Women Are in Control". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- 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.
- "U.S. dating apps by audience size 2019". Statista.
- "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.
- "Andrey Andreev sells stake in Bumble owner to Blackstone, Whitney Wolfe Herd now CEO of $3B dating apps business". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
- Au-Yeung, Angel. "Exclusive Investigation: Sex, Drugs, Misogyny And Sleaze At The HQ Of Bumble's Owner". Forbes. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
- "Bumble hits 100 million users—and has new plans to take over the dating world".
- "6 things you need to know about gay dating app Chappy". Evening Standard. August 17, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- Bumble invests in gay dating app Chappy
- "Report: Grindr's Chinese owner Kunlun is selling the dating app after CFIUS raised personal data concerns". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- "Whitney Wolfe Herd on Instagram: "❤️happy two years my everything"". Instagram. Retrieved September 17, 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.
- ""Whitney Wolfe Herd on Instagram". Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- "Whitney Wolfe Herd Rethinks Parental Benefits After Pregnancy Announcement". Global Dating Insights. June 18, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
- "2019 AMERICA'S SELF-MADE WOMEN NET WORTH". Forbes. Forbes. June 3, 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Whitney Wolfe.|
- How I Built This: Bumble (audio interview)