Whitney Wolfe Herd said she founded Bumble in 2014 because “I felt there was such an imbalance in the relationship dynamic between men and women. I could go after anything I wanted in life, but if I texted a boy first that was perceived as wrong or even worse, desperate. I wanted to change that and rewrite the gender norms and empower women to make the first move in all facets of their lives.”
Although it began as a dating app (Wolfe Herd was a cofounder of Tinder), Bumble’s evolution into something bigger began on Day 1. “I saw immediately how the idea of Bumble, the idea of giving women control, inspired my founding team and knew then we had something powerful in our hands,” she said.
In 2016, Bumble launched BFF mode as a way to find platonic friends, and last year Bumble Bizz launched as a career networking app. It has brought physical experiences into the mix with Bumble Hive pop-ups, where different brand partners have hosted panels and networking events. Said Wolfe Herd, “The evolution has just continued on as we’ve become the only global, women-first social network dedicated to empowering women and ending misogyny.”
The company, headquartered in Austin, Tex., has partnered with the Anti-Defamation League in an effort to remove users who display hate symbols in their profiles and once blocked a male user who had an outburst at a female user after she asked him what he did for a living.
Wolfe Herd said that the qualities she looks for in new hires are kindness, accountability, equality and respect. “They must embody our values,” she said. She describes her management style as “inclusive, collaborative, transparent and vulnerable” and calls her team her mentor.
Long-term, her vision for the company is “to be the global empowerment brand for women.” Bumble is currently valued at more than $1 billion.