Whitney Wolfe Herd, the 31-year-old CEO of dating application Bumble, has made her company public, becoming the world’s youngest female CEO to do so. The journey, however, to launching one of the major dating apps in the world, stems from a rather dark place.
Wolfe Herd’s enterprise was built on a market that was essentially in-demand but underserved. She now joins a rare group of self-made female entrepreneurs of similar US companies that have gone public. Which, by the way, is just two apart from Bumble among a total of 559 companies that went public.
This roughly portrays the existing discrepancies in the market, which is further highlighted by wealth creation statistics. According to figures by Bloomberg, self-made women, mostly from Asia, account for less than 5% of the world’s 500 biggest fortunes, whereas self-made men occupy almost two-thirds of the total wealth index.
Bumble, as per Wolfe Herd’s own admission, was born from one of the most prominent and stubborn problem for women entrepreneurs – sexual harassment.
The philosophy is seemingly entrenched in Bumble’s work ethic, as the app lets women make the first move. It is essentially a by-women, for-women invention that seeks to turn upside down traditional dating norms.
Reportedly, it was harassment, that triggered the creation of Bumble for Herd, who came out of Tinder’s founding team in 2014. The parting was not cordial, as Herd had filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Tinder at the time for having been called derogatory names by executives as well as being stripped off her role as a co-founder. The axing as co-founder reportedly was because the company felt it was not good for it's status that a female held a high-profile position, according to Bloomberg.
"The importance of a woman making the first move is not exclusive to the world of dating, romance, or love. It is a powerful shift, giving women confidence and control”, Herd wrote in her S1 filing, a registration necessary in the US for new public companies for new securities they require.
Nearly seven-years later, as the markets opened on Thursday, Bumble starting soaring, with their shares priced $43 a piece on Nasdaq, closing eventually with a market cap of $7.7 billion and a 63.5% rise, signalling a decisive win over overcast doubts and regressive obstacles alike.