When Whitney Wolfe Herd was planning a launch party for Bumble, she deliberately chose the location for the occasion: It should be the place that was known for 57 years as the Four Seasons Restaurant in Manhattan. Regulars like former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, civil rights activist Vernon Jordan, billionaire Edgar Bronfman and the boss of the financial giant Blackstone, Stephen Schwarzman, had made the place a place for business lunches for the powerful.
The restaurant is now under new management, has a new name and a revised menu. And, as Herd points out, a new perspective on the business world. “These days, business lunches are no longer just for men,” Herd says to her mostly young, mostly female audience, before handing over the stage to “The Black Eyed Peas” front woman Fergie. “We’re now at the table too.”
At that metaphorical table is definitely the 28-year-old Herd, who is significantly involved in the fact that the digital dating world is currently changing. The Bumble app she founded was successful with a simple feature: women are taking the first step. In a match, when two users rate each other positively, the women have to write to the men.
That draws: Today Bumble has 22 million registered users – compared to Tinders 46 million. But Bumble’s customer base grew by around 70 percent compared to the previous year, Tinder’s only by ten percent – the lead of the top dog is melting. Bumble has also been monetizing the app via in-app purchases since August 2016, and sales will be around US $ 100 million in 2017. In addition, there are now revenues from personalized, location-based advertising, which could double sales in 2018.
Herd recently turned down a $ 450 million offer from Tinder parent Match Group, according to insider sources. But Match does not give up and wants to make a new offer. Bumble’s valuation is said to be $ 1 billion. Herd’s 20 percent stake in the company would be worth around US $ 200 million. Match Group did not want to comment on the claims.
Herd’s comeback is amazing. As co-founder and head of marketing at Tinder, she shaped the app that fundamentally changed the dating life of millions of people. Herd was thus part of one of the greatest business successes in the smartphone age. But then Herd found herself in the midst of a problem that is not uncommon today: She sued Tinder for sexual harassment. Herd’s allegation in June 2014 was that her former boss and friend Justin Mateen called her “whore” and “gold digger” (a derogatory term for a woman who is only after money with men, note) and Repeatedly threatened and insulted me via SMS.