In the word of online dating, Whitney Wolfe Heard is queen. The co-founder of Tinder, who left the company after being sexually harassed by her ex-boyfriend and co-founder, created a feminist dating app called “Bumble” in December of the same year. Bumble capitalized on a much-needed and hitherto unaddressed blind spot of Tinder, namely that men on the app are notoriously aggressive and misogynistic. Whitney Wolfe attempted to remedy this by giving women the first move, allowing them to set the tone of the conversation. If they do not message their match within 24 hours, he will disappear forever. This simple approach to empowerment did the trick. In the first month alone Bumble was downloaded 100,000 times, and is now valued at one billion dollars four years after its foundation. One year ago, Match Group, which owns Tinder, offered to buy Whitney Wolfe’s app, but was turned down following months of talks. After negotiations failed and the sale fell through, Match sued Bumble for trademark infringement, alleging that Bumble used their basic concept and piggybacked off Tinder’s success. Bumble sued back, saying that Match was needlessly litigious and had used earlier sales negotiations to obtain proprietary information regarding Bumble’s customers and marketing strategy. Learn more about Whitney Wolfe on Crunchbase.
In summer of 2017, a Neo-Nazi group launched a cyber-attack on Bumble, posting the names, pictures and personal information of Bumble employees on their website. According to Bumble, this was directly motivated by their own stance for women’s empowerment. As a result, Whitney Wolfe now travels with a team of bodyguards and experiences anxiety around the safety of herself, her family, and her team.
None of these challenges stand a chance of stopping Whitney Wolfe. Since the beginning of the legal fight between Bumble and Match, the Bumble’s usership has increased by an additional five million, and the 29-year-old Wolfe’s net worth is now valued at 230 million dollars.
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