Woman dating issue
The company called for a future in which Connor would “engage in everyday conversations with women without being afraid of their power”—and then, in an unusual move, banned him from using the service.Whitney Wolfe, Bumble’s 28-year-old founder and CEO, understands how it feels to be on the receiving end of such messages.In August of 2014, Andreev and Wolfe met in Greece to discuss partnering on a female-centric dating app.Three years after that first conversation, Bumble has amassed more than 20 million users, and it continues to add more than 50,000 new ones per day.Bumble has also recruited “Queen Bees”—existing users who are social media influencers and entrepreneurs—to partner with the app on networking and awareness events.Wolfe believes that Bumble’s mission of empowerment will be as appealing in the professional realm as it is in the personal.With it, she’s expanding her ambitions—for Bumble and for women.
“Whitney’s vision extended well beyond dating from the beginning,” says Andreev, who owns a majority stake in Bumble.Flanked by a handful of the 30 employees (mostly women) who work out of the company’s Austin office, she explains that she founded Bumble in 2014 “in response to our dating issues, our issues with men, our issues with gender dynamics.” At the time, Wolfe had been reeling from her dramatic exit from the dating app Tinder, where she served as VP of marketing.Following an ugly breakup with cofounder Justin Mateen, Wolfe brought a sexual harassment suit against her former colleagues, accusing them of discrimination and stripping her of her cofounder title—claims Tinder called unfounded.“Feminism wasn’t really at the top of my vocabulary,” says Wolfe.“I think what’s been interesting for me—let me say this delicately—when I’ve been surrounded by men who don’t believe women are equal, I didn’t think women were equal, including myself.”During a coffee break at Bumble’s office, more than a dozen members of the staff, who are as loose and casual with one another as longtime friends, crowd around a laptop perched on the kitchen counter. It features the company’s director of college marketing jumping out of a plane shortly after she started chatting with a match on Bumble (the ad’s closing statement: #taketheleap).
“I read what people were saying about me, and I was sure I was done,” she says.