Match Group wanted it, but Whitney Wolfe isn’t going to let them have it. Match Group already owns OKCupid, Tinder and Match.com, and it is believed that they just approached Ms. Wolfe with an offer to purchase Bumble for $450 million about two months ago.
The offer may not be as good as some people may think. According to some sources, $450 million seriously undervalues Bumble. Bumble is unique in a crowd of dating apps because it focuses on women rather than men. When there is a match made between a male and a female, only the woman is free to initiate a relationship.
Both Match Group and Bumble have remained mum about this supposed bid. When asked, a spokesperson from Match Group declined to comment on the rumor. The reporter did not receive an answer from Bumble representatives either. If this story is true, it would mean that Bumble’s founder and CEO would be an employee of a company that she sued three years ago.
The Beginnings of Bumble
In 2014, Whitney Wolfe launched Bumble in December. Last year, she began to monetize the site by selling subscriptions and other features for $9.99 per month. In the spring of this year, Bumble BFF was introduced to the world as an extension of the Bumble dating app that is geared toward helping young women make new friends. The company has plans for this fall as well when it will institute the networking vertical called “BumbleBizz.”
Bumble started out like all the other dating apps. The consumer downloads the app, creates a profile and sorts through a selection of possible romantic interests. When the user comes across someone she would like to know better, she swipes to the right. If she would rather move on, she swipes to the left. That is where the similarities to the other apps end.
With Bumble, the control has been placed squarely in women’s hands. Men are allowed to use this app and search for partners, but they do not have permission to start a conversation with anyone. Since its inception, Bumble has added 12.5 million registered users. This rather large group spends an average of 100 minutes each day on the app.
To use Bumble, the first thing you will do is set up your profile. You have the option of adding a selfie, but it isn’t required. A selfie provides others with a sense of security that a real person is creating the account. After your profile is finished, you can specify your preferences. For example, you may select an age range or a distance range. Of course, you will be able to say that you are looking for men, women, men and women or a BFF.
After you swipe right and the other person also swipes right, Bumble will let you know, and you can start a conversation right away or continue to search.
The Bumble app also gives you the option of purchasing the paid version. It is called “Bumble Boost,” and it is only $7.99 per month. For this price, you may connect with people you have been matched with after the 24-hour time limit has expired. Bumble also has Bumble Coins. They are $1.99 each, and they allow users to purchase SuperSwipes. SuperSwipes are signals that you can send to let someone know you are extremely interested in him or her.
About Whitney Wolfe
Whitney Wolfe was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1990. She attended Southern Methodist University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations. She started her first company while still in college at 19 years of age. That was when she began to sell bamboo tote bags as a way to raise money for the victims of the BP oil spill. The company was given the name “The Help Us Project.”
Whitney partnered with Patrick Aufdenkamp who helped her get the non-profit organization off the ground. Celebrities Nicole Ritchie and Rachel Zoe were photographed with Whitney’s bags, and this created interest in the national press. Whitney continued to do philanthropic work after she graduated from college. That was when she traveled to Southeast Asia to work in some of the orphanages there.
At the age of 28, Whitney Wolfe has a place on the “30 Under 30 Consumer Technology List.” In 2016, Elle named her as one of its “Women in Tech.”