Whitney Wolfe Herd Even during the Internet’s early years, dating websites have always been famous. Fast forward today, and even though millions of people still find potential companions through these traditional dating websites, an excellent chunk of singles have already shifted to using dating apps.
Tinder and Bumble are two of the most popular dating apps. Together, they have 77 million active users in the U.S. The numbers are fantastic for these two apps.
However, what’s more fantastic is that there is one person who was highly involved in the development of the two dating platforms: Whitney Wolfe Herd. At only 32 years old, she has launched businesses and is already one of the richest women entrepreneurs on the planet.
Whitney Wolfe Herd was born in Salt Lake City, in the state of Utah, in the United States, on July 1, 1989. Her father, Michael Wolfe, was a property developer, while her mother, Kelly, was a homemaker.
She moved to Paris, France, when she was in the fourth grade but returned to the U.S. to finish her college education.
Herd previously attended the Judge Memorial Catholic School before moving to France. In college, she enrolled at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas County, Texas, and majored in international studies. She was also a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
At around the same time, Herd sold bamboo tote bags as part of a charity effort for those affected by the BP oil spill in 2010. She then partnered with celebrity stylist Patrick Aufdenkamp to launch a non-profit called the “Help Us Project.”
After the success of the Help Us Project, Herd and Aufdenkamp then launched another non-profit business called “Tender Heart,” a clothing line that helped raise awareness for human trafficking and fair trade.
Herd gained widespread recognition for her tote bags, which celebrities like Nicole Richie and Rachel Zoe also wore. After graduating, she traveled to Southeast Asia to work with various orphanages.
After returning from her charity work, Herd worked at tech startup Hatch Labs, where she was involved in the development of a fintech platform called Cardify and Tinder’s first prototype, Matchbox. After Cardify was shut down, she joined her former Cardify coworkers Sean Rad, Justin Mateen, and Jonathan Badeen at the IAC startup incubator in 2012. They were now working on developing Matchbox.
A few months later, Matchbox was renamed to Tinder, and the app was officially launched. Herd was promoted as the company’s vice president of marketing. Herd would work at Tinder for two years, and of her many achievements, nothing would be more significant than being the person who actually named the company as well as designed Tinder’s flame logo.
According to Herd, she drew inspiration from an actual tinder,” which is a combustible material used to start a fire. The flame also represents emotion, passion, and desire. Tinder’s unique features—connecting potential partners through photos and short bios—made it an instant hit. In less than a year after it was launched, Tinder had become one of the top 25 social networking apps.
It also became the first dating app in 10 years to fall in the top 5 of the web’s most utilized services. Despite Tinder’s fast trajectory, it did not end well for Herd with the company she helped build. In early 2014, she stepped down and filed sexual harassment and discrimination charges against company executives. It is reported she received more than $1 million plus stock as part of a settlement.
Bumble’s co-founder and CEO:
Herd didn’t want to leave Tinder, but a new chance would come up for the young business owner. After word got out that she was leaving, the founder of Badoo, Andrey Andreev, got in touch with her about making a Tinder-like dating app. Andreev had been running Badoo since 2006, with the app already becoming one of the world’s largest dating networks.
Andreev and Herd would then form a partnership, and Bumble was launched in December 2014. Andreev put $10 million into the company at first and got 80% of it. Herd, who was Bumble’s first CEO, was in charge of the other 20%. In other words, Andreev was originally listed as Bumble’s founder, while Herd was the company’s co-founder and CEO.
The Bumble date app functions similarly to Tinder, where users connect with other people through photos and short bios. But unlike Tinder, Bumble is more of a female-focused dating app that lets women make the first move. Herd says that Bumble gives women more power by letting them make the first move. This makes the relationship more balanced and respectful from the start.
Even though people were skeptical at first, the app eventually became popular and had hundreds of users every day. By 2017, more than 22 million users were now using Bumble. With Bumble’s popularity surging, Herd then realized that more features needed to be implemented so that it could set itself apart from competitors, especially Tinder.
Soon after, the app added Bumble BFF for people who want to meet more people and Bumble Bizz for people who want to network in a way that is similar to LinkedIn. As of 2020, over 100 million users have signed up, with the app currently having 42 million monthly active users. The company’s valuation also soared to nearly $8 billion after it went public in February 2021, with the Bumble IPO selling $76 per share on its first day of trading (up 77% in the U.S. stock market).
Herd is no stranger to failures. Her rough patch at Tinder could have easily been a career-ending moment for other individuals, but she managed to fight her way through difficult challenges and has now become the CEO of her own company. “Anybody can rebuild themselves just by starting over, taking that first step, making the first move,”
Herd said in a recent interview. After Bumble went public, she became the youngest self-made billionaire in the world and is only listed behind Susan Wojcicki (YouTube), Lisa Su (AMD), Lynsi Snyder (In-N-Out Burger), and Marillyn Hewson (Lockheed Martin) in terms of net worth for female CEOs. She was also listed in the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 and 2018 Time 100 lists.
Herd met her husband, Michael, while on a snowboarding trip in Aspen, Colorado. Michael Herd is the grandson of Bob Herd, the founding father of the Texas-based oil and natural gas company Herd Producing Company, Inc. He is presently the vice chairman of the organization, which operates over 400 oil wells across Louisiana and East Texas.
They married in 2017 and announced the birth of their first child two years later. herd 2 As Bumble’s fees keep rising, Whitney Wolfe Herd will continue to be an inspiration for not just women entrepreneurs but also for people intending to overcome hard challenges.
Courtesy: Success Story