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“I think what’s been interesting for me—let me say this delicately—when I’ve been surrounded by men who don’t believe women are equal, I didn’t think women were equal, including myself.”During a coffee break at Bumble’s office, more than a dozen members of the staff, who are as loose and casual with one another as longtime friends, crowd around a laptop perched on the kitchen counter. It features the company’s director of college marketing jumping out of a plane shortly after she started chatting with a match on Bumble (the ad’s closing statement: #taketheleap).
Wolfe, who enlisted student ambassadors to make Tinder a hit on college campuses around the country, did the same with Bumble.
Before she launched the company, she didn’t even identify as a feminist.
“Feminism wasn’t really at the top of my vocabulary,” says Wolfe.
Three years after that first conversation, Bumble has amassed more than 20 million users, and it continues to add more than 50,000 new ones per day.
It’s on track to take in more than 0 million in revenue in 2018.
(The basic app is free, but more than 10% of its active users pay up to .99 per month for a subscription, which grants access to premium features such as a list of people who have already swiped right on them.) Bumble’s users are emboldened by the app’s impressively low rate of abuse reports; in addition to banning people like Connor, Bumble also blocks those who send unwanted nude photos, and it was the first dating app to initiate photo verification practices, limiting the potential for fake profiles.
Now Bumble is betting that its matchmaking technology can do more than foster romantic or personal connections.
”That Bumble exists to empower women represents something of a transformation for Wolfe.Whitney Wolfe, Bumble’s 28-year-old founder and CEO, understands how it feels to be on the receiving end of such messages.Flanked by a handful of the 30 employees (mostly women) who work out of the company’s Austin office, she explains that she founded Bumble in 2014 “in response to our dating issues, our issues with men, our issues with gender dynamics.” At the time, Wolfe had been reeling from her dramatic exit from the dating app Tinder, where she served as VP of marketing.Read about her plans to give women greater access to love and career opportunity in our digital cover story on Fast now.[Photo: @ninebagatelles] A post shared by Fast Company (@fastcompany) on After her painful split from Tinder, the last thing Wolfe wanted to do was start another tech company.