With Bumble now listed on NASDAQ, Whitney Wolf is the youngest CEO on Wall Street

The creator of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd is the youngest woman to list her business on the NASDAQ Composite, one of the three most-followed stock market indices in the United States, and is the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.

Whitney Wolfe Herd is an ambitious woman. The creator of Bumble, she is the youngest woman to list her business on the NASDAQ Composite, one of the three most-followed stock market indices in the United States, and is the youngest self-made billionaire in the world with an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion. As of March 2021, Bumble showed no signs of stagnation, reporting a 31.1% rise in fourth quarter revenue in 2020 which caused the stock to jump by 5.3%.

Online Dating created by Women, for Women

At its core, Bumble is a mobile dating app that connects users to potential partners. It utilizes a swipe-based interface that will feel familiar to those who have used apps like Tinder. Where Bumble has really taken off however is by focusing the experience for women. When two opposite-sex partners match with each other, they have 24 hours to initiate a conversation. In order to cut down the number of toxic or messages many women face on other dating apps however, only the woman can send the first message. The app also aims to be more inclusive than other dating apps, allowing users to specify man, woman, non-binary or half a dozen other self-identifications both for themselves, and their preferences.

While Bumble is free, and promises to remain free, they have launched several premium features that can be purchased, such as the Boost, Premium, SuperSwipe and Spotlight. It is these premium features that have driven Bumble’s revenue growth.

Friction at Tinder causes Flames to Erupt

Whitney Wolfe Herd had not aimed to be such a high profile person. At the age of 22 she joined Hatch Labs and went to work on development for the now infamous Tinder. The name and logo of the dating app were allegedly Wolfe’s idea as Vice President of Marketing. In 2014 Wolfe left the company due to growing tension with other executives, and shortly afterwards she filed a lawsuit for sexual harassment.

A Bumpy ride from the Co-founder of Bumble to its CEO

It was not long after receiving a settlement reportedly worth $1 million that Whitney Wolfe Herd founded Bumble. The new female-focused app grew so fast that Tinder eventually put down an offer of $450 million to buy out the company, which was declined. By March 2019 Bumble was second only to Tinder as the most popular dating app in the U.S.

In the same month, Wolfe Herd testified before the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee as part of her lobbying efforts to file a bill that aimed to outlaw the sending of unsolicited lewd images. There is something of an irony then that just a few months later the co-founder of Bumble, Andrey Andreev, came under fire for sexual misconduct allegations at Badoo, Bumble’s sister company. The Forbes report painted a picture of a repeated sexism, misogyny and at least one case of ‘inappropriate touching.’ While the report did also note that Andreev was taking steps to improve the culture at Badoo, the contradiction between his pro-women stance as part of Bumble and the allegations against him at Badoo were quickly picked up by the press.

By the end of the year, Bumble’s parent company was sold to the private equity firm The Blackstone Group and Andreev released his entire stake in both Bumble and Badoo. It is not confirmed if the allegations were the cause of the sale, but in any case, Whitney Wolfe Herd was made CEO of the newly acquired company, at the time valued at $3 billion.

After this, all it took was for the company to be listed on NASDAQ, and Whitney Wolfe Heard became the youngest CEO on Wall Street. The decision not to sell the company to Tinder clearly paid off, as Bumble was recently valued at $15.69 billion.

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