Dating app co-founder just became youngest self-made female billionaire

AP Photo/Richard Drew

Dating app Bumble became a publicly-traded company on Feb. 11. Shares of the company immediately soared, and by day’s end, CEO and founder Whitney Wolfe Herd had become the world’s youngest self-made woman billionaire.

Wolfe Herd, who is 31, tweeted about the company going public and credited much of Bumble’s success to its female customers and women in business.

“Today, @Bumble becomes a public company,” she wrote. “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.”

Wolfe Herd is also the youngest female CEO to take her company public. Bumble was one of just three female-founded firms out of 559 companies that have gone public in the U.S. during the past year.

Bumble was not Wolfe Herd’s first foray into the world of dating apps. When she was 22 and working for Hatch Labs in Los Angeles, she started collaborating after hours with a group building a dating app. She came up with a name for the app she co-founded — Tinder — and was the company’s vice president of marketing for two years.

Bumble is different because, on the dating app, women always make the first move. If two people connect, but the woman doesn’t initiate a conversation within 24 hours, the connection expires.

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang, Wolfe Herd said she is proud of her team and grateful for the early support.

“It’s been such a journey, and for those first people that believed in us and subscribed to this radical idea of a woman making the first move,” she said in the interview, which Bloomberg TV shared on Twitter. “They have been really what drove this home and given me courage and confidence, and motivation along the journey. It just really has been a profound ride, and I’m seriously just feeling very grateful and humbled, and really it’s a surreal day.”

Wolfe Herd owns just under 12% of the company. Her stake in Bumble was worth $1.5 billion when the market closed on Feb. 11.

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Tricia Goss

Tricia is a professional writer and editor who lives in North Texas with her family and one smelly dog. She is a wannabe problem solver, junk food maven professional coffee practitioner, web guru and general communicator. Learn More.