Originally Posted: July 11, 2018
Whitney Wolfe Herd ’11 is a Dedman College alumna and Executive Board member.
Some users of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd’s dating app, are lucky enough to swipe right and find love, a new friend or a job opportunity. Wolfe Herd, though, may be the luckiest of all: The app, which Forbes values at $1 billion, has brought its 29-year-old founder a $230 million fortune. While Wolfe Herd missed the cut for this year’s Forbes list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women, Forbes predicts it won’t be too long before she joins the ranks, assuming Bumble keeps growing at the rate it has.
Bumble’s biggest competitor is Tinder, founded in 2012 as one of the first “swiping” dating apps,using a customer’s location to find matches. Wolfe Herd actually helped build what is now her adversary. She cofounded Tinder, but left the company in 2014, claiming sexual harassment by her cofounder and ex-boyfriend Justin Mateen. Mateen was suspended from Tinder, and Wolfe Herd settled for a reported $1 million.
“I was being told the ugliest things by complete strangers, and they were having full debates about me. I wasn’t running for office. I wasn’t trying to be on a reality show. I was just a girl who left somewhere,” Wolfe Herd told Forbes last year. “I was broken.”
She originally had no plans to go back into the world of online dating and was instead keen on founding an online social space for women. She pitched the idea to Russian billionaire and the founder of dating app Badoo Andrey Andreev, who didn’t jump at the concept, but did love Wolfe Herd’s “passion and energy.” Andreev, who had met her while she was at Tinder, thought she should stick to her area of expertise: dating apps. The two met in London–where Andreev lives–more than a dozen times before Wolfe Herd came up with the idea for Bumble. READ MORE