Whitney Wolfe Herd
Whitney Wolfe Herd
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
|Education||Southern Methodist University, Texas|
|Known for||Founder & CEO of Bumble|
Whitney Wolfe Herd (born July 1989)  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. 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. In February 2021, Wolfe Herd became the world's youngest, current, female, self-made billionaire when she took Bumble public. She is the youngest woman to have taken a company public, at age 31.
Early life and education
Wolfe Herd was born as Whitney Wolfe in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Michael Wolfe, a wealthy property developer, who was Jewish, and Kelly Wolfe, who was Catholic. 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. 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.
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.
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, which is easily combustible material used to start a fire. She has also been credited with fueling its popularity on college campuses and growing its user base.
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. She reportedly received more than US$1 million as well as stock as part of a settlement in September 2014.
Having found herself a receiver of online hate, Wolfe Herd started sketching out a female-only social network centered around compliments which was to be called Merci. 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.
Bumble, Inc (2014 - present)
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.
In 2020, Bumble replaced MagicLab as the parent company of both Bumble and Badoo. As of 2020, Bumble has over 100 million subscribers worldwide.
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.
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."
In 2020, Forbes listed Wolfe Herd at number 39 of the top 100 "America's richest self-made women".
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- 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.
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- "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.
- "Bumble hits 100 million users—and has new plans to take over the dating world". July 15, 2020.
- "Bumble: Female-founded dating app tops $13bn in market debut". BBC News. February 11, 2021. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
- Au-Yeung, Angel. "Bumble Cofounder Becomes World's Youngest Self-Made Woman Billionaire, Thanks To IPO". Forbes. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
- "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.
- "Chappy: Gay dating app is shutting down later this month". PinkNews. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
- Macon, Alexandra (October 5, 2017). "Bumble Founder Whitney Wolfe's Whirlwind Wedding Was a True Celebration of Southern Italy". Vogue. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
- "Whitney Wolfe Herd on Instagram". Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- "#39 Whitney Wolfe Herd". Forbes.com. October 13, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Whitney Wolfe Herd.|
- How I Built This: Bumble (audio interview)