The inspiring story of Bumble founder becoming a billionaire at 31

Whitney Wolfe-Herd, founder and CEO of the dating app Bumble, became a billionaire at just 31-years-old. She is now 33.

Wolfe-Herd is the youngest woman to have taken a company public in the US – which she did all while holding her one-year-old son, Bobby, on her hip as she rang the opening bell for the American stock exchange from her firm’s headquarters.

Whitney has said that she wanted Bumble to be “Facebook, but for people who don’t know each other yet.”’

Whitney also stated on the Bumble official website:

‘When I founded Bumble, it was because I saw a problem I wanted to help solve. It was 2014, but so many of the smart, wonderful women in my life were still waiting around for men to ask them out, to take their numbers, or to start up a conversation on a dating app. For all the advances women had been making in workplaces and corridors of power, the gender dynamics of dating and romance still seemed so outdated. I thought, what if I could flip that on its head? What if women made the first move, and sent the first message?’

Whitney’s rise to the top has been plagued with sexism. While she has come from a privileged background (raised in Salt Lake City, Utah before attending Southern Methodist University), she has hit obstacles many women are familiar with when entering the tech world.

When she was 22, Whitney became involved with a company called Hatch Labs where she met Sean Rad and Chris Gulczynski who later became the development team for Tinder. She reportedly came up with the name and logo (inspired by the real-life tinder box, which is a box with matches in it!! So smart right?!)– and has been credited with fuelling its popularity among college-age people. However, she left Tinder in 2014, soon after filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company.

While she legally cannot talk about what she went through while at Tinder, the lawsuit was settled for over $1million without an admission of wrongdoing from Tinder. Sean Rad stepped down as Tinder CEO shortly after. Whitney spoke about the experience in 2015 in an interview with Business Insider: ‘I don’t wish for anyone to go through that, especially right as you’re turning 25.’

Whitney went on to launch Bumble just two months later. Which as we know is a female-focused app dedicated to women making the first move, Bumble had more than 15million conversations and 8million matches under its belt within the first year. As of 2020, it had over 100million subscribers worldwide. 

We think this is truly incredible! What a way to rise back up.

Whitney expresses that “since 2017, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have put sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the center of the cultural conversation. I’m more dedicated than ever to helping advance gender equality — and putting an end to the misogyny that still plagues society. We don’t tolerate hate speech or bad behavior of any sort; Bumble is a platform rooted in kindness and respect.”

Here at Netwomen, we commend Whitney Wolfe-Herd on her hard work highlighting these prominent issues in our world and her efforts to close the gender inequality gap. We also wanted to highlight Whitney’s powerful advice to women in business for you to take away and put into your own ventures: 

“Never take no for an answer, believe in yourselves, and turn your pain into purpose.”


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