In 2014 the dating app Bumble was born of founder Whitney Wolfe’s desire to create apps that empower women. The career networking site for women Bizz is a spin-off of Bumble. A variation on the dating app BFF helps women find platonic friendship.
Before conceiving the idea that would become Bumble, Wolfe approached the billionaire founder of the Badoo dating app Andrey Andreev for funding for an online social site for women. Though Andreev wasn’t impressed by Wolfe’s idea he was impressed by Wolfe. Read her articles at vogue.com to know more about Wolfe.
Whitney Wolfe had worked for Tinder and played a key role in creating that app. Since she already understood dating apps Andrey Andreev advised Whitney Wolfe to create her own dating app. Wolfe’s idea for Bumble resonated with Andreev. He put up $10 million in seed money and opened Badoo software and systems to use by Bumble. Andreev received a 79% stake in Bumble.
Bumble has been in existence for four years and is already worth $1 billion according to Forbes. At 29 Wolfe’s net worth is $230 million. Last year Bumble’s 35 million users generated $100 million in revenue for the company.
In 2017 Match Group the company that owns Tinder offered Wolfe $450 million for Bumble. She declined that offer and a second offer of $1 billion. In March of this year, Match Group sued Bumble alledging patent infringement and misuse of intellectual property.
At the center of the litigation is the card-swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise that Tinder pioneered. Bumble counter-sued claiming Match Group’s suit was an attempt to devalue Bumble by using litigation to scare potential investors away from Bumble. Bumble is seeking $400 million in damages.
The suit could be as much personal as a matter of business. While working as a market researcher and customer recruiter for Tinder Whitney Wolfe dated Tinder co-founder Justin Marteen. The relationship went sour and Wolfe left Tinder alledging Marteen sexually harassed her.
After she filed a sexual harassment suit against Tinder Whitney Wolfe was awarded $1 million. As of this writing, a resolution of the patent infringement suit and resultant counter-suit are pending.