Business Today
Loading...

Bumble co-founder becomes youngest woman billionaire

Bumble's co-founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd achieved something that she had never hoped.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | February 12, 2021 | Updated 11:16 IST
Whitney Wolfe Herd (Source: Instagram)

Highlights

  • Bumble's 31-year-old CEO became the youngest billionaire recently.
  • After Bumble went public, she gathered a net worth of $1.5 billion.
  • Bumble is the second largest dating app in the US after Tinder.

Bumble CEO and co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd became the youngest woman billionaire Thursday after the second-biggest online dating company went public in the US. With her nearly 12 per cent stake in the company, 31-year-old Wolfe Herd ended the day with a net worth of $1.5 billion, after seeing a short-lived spike that showed her worth a little higher at $1.6 billion earlier in the day. This was possible because the shares of Bumble soared in the IPO, from an initial price of $43 per share to as high as $76 per share.

"Today, @Bumble becomes a public company," Wolfe Herd tweeted Thursday. "This is only possible thanks to the more than 1.7 billion first moves made by brave women on our app—and the pioneering women who paved the way for us in the business world. To everyone who made today possible: Thank you. #BumbleIPO."

Wolfe Herd founded Bumble in 2014 after her stint at Tinder, the world's most popular dating app that she sued for sexual harassment. In her allegations, she mentioned her former boss and also her boyfriend Justin Mateen had threatened her to strip her of her title of being the co-founder of Tinder. Tinder refuted these allegations and the matter was settled. Wolfe Herd, then, worked with London-based Russian billionaire Andrey Andreev, who had been making dating apps for European and Latin American markets, to create Bumble.

What makes Bumble different from the rest is the pivotal role given to women on the platform as they can only make the first outreach in the app.

Later, Andreev had to quit the company over allegations that there was a misogynistic environment at the London office under his leadership, leaving the company's future in shambles. But not for too long. A private equity firm Blackstone Group showed interest in the app and bought Andeev's stake in the company in a November 2020 deal, making the net value of the company reach $3 billion last year.

But after the IPO ended fantastically for the company, Bumble's market capitalisation rose to $8.6 billion. Match Group, which owns Tinder, has a capitalisation of $45 billion in the market. In fact, back in 2017, Match Group attempted to buy Bumble for $450 million, the proposal which the Wolfe Herd-led company categorically rejected.

Bumble reported revenue of $417 million in the first nine months of 2020, a significant increase over $363 million that the company raked in a year back. The Match Group, on the other hand, reported $1.7 billion in revenue in the first nine months of 2020 and $1.5 billion a year earlier. The money raised from the IPO will be used to purchase or redeem shares from the shareholders of the company before it went public, such as Blackstone Group, which owned nearly 91 per cent prior to the offering, and Wolfe Herd. The CEO of Bumble also took a loan of $120 million back in January last year but it was settled after Wolfe Herd gave up some of her Bumble shares, worth $95.5 million, the prospectus mentioned.

  • Print
  • COMMENT
BT-Story-Page-B.gif
A    A   A
close