In a rare occurrence, Whitney Wolfe Herd, the 31-year-old founder of “feminist” dating app Bumble has become a billionaire, after the company on Thursday raised $2.2 billion in an initial public offering, which valued its worth at over $7 billion.
According to CNBC, by the third quarter of 2020, the company had almost 42 million active users. The latest feat will put it in the league of female-founded companies to IPO like Katrina Lake’s Stitch Fix and Julie Wainwright’s RealReal.
One of the vital motives behind the founding of the company was to eliminate sexual harassment of women on dating platforms.
“Hopefully this will not be a rare headline,” Bloomberg quoted Wolfe Herd as saying. “Hopefully this will be the norm. It’s the right thing to do, it’s a priority for us and it should be a priority for everyone else,” she added.
Wolfe Herd launched the app in 2014, which encourages women to be the first one to make the move in dating, instead for waiting for someone to ask them out. The app has women employees who guide its users in the dating process.
The company was recently in news after it banned body shaming as part of its updated terms and conditions. The app defines body shaming as “unsolicited and derogatory comments about someone’s appearance, body shape, size or health” and is characterized by language which is “fat-phobic, racist, colourist, homophobic or transphobic”.
The feat is an inspiration for women entrepreneurs around the world at a time when men hold almost two-thirds of the wealth index, while account for less than 5 per cent of the world’s 500 biggest fortunes.
“Whitney saw an opportunity that wasn’t being addressed for women and based on her expertise she’s made it into this gold mine, not just for her and her team, but also her investors,” Allyson Kapin, general partner at investment firm W Fund told Bloomberg.
Other’s said the development will encourage venture capital firms to invest more in companies founded by women and working for women.
“Whitney’s success will help further the case for investing in businesses that serve a female audience or that are founded by women,” said Austin venture capitalist Kelso Kamin.
“Right now, there’s a flywheel of largely white men funding white men…we have a boy’s club going on and that power circle is self-reinforcing. What really needs to happen is we need to be the new flywheel,” Pam Kostka, CEO of All Raise told CNBC.