Remember when the MP3 player just came out and that one rich kid in the bus line was rocking out to the foreign object? He was the big swingin’ dick in eighth grade even though he wore turtlenecks. Then, shortly after, Apple released it’s first iPod and THAT dude was walking through the hallways with his sack dragging on the floor. Cool by association. And the MP3 didn’t seem so cool anymore.
Well that’s basically been the story of Tinder and Bumble, respectively. Bumble has become the Stefan Urkel to Tinder’s Steve Urkel. The general concepts both dating sites employ isn’t much different: create profile, add pictures, swipe left, swipe right, wonder what happened to the past 3 hours. The Bumble difference is that after a match occurs, the conversation starter is incumbent on the woman. This all but eliminates the unsolicited dick pic epidemic that has smeared Tinder’s reputation and scared many women away.
As it stands today, Bumble has garnered over 22 million registered users, to Tinder’s 46 million. According to Forbes, Bumble is experiencing more than 70% year-over-year growth, to Tinder’s roughly 10%, closing the gap quickly. By monetizing via in-app purchases, Bumble will rake in over $100 million in sales this year, and more than 10% of its users pay $9.99 for a monthly subscription, compared to 5% of Tinder users paying for a similar subscription.
And the woman behind Bumble’s success is 28-year-old Whitney Wolfe Herd.
Before her 30th birthday, Herd employs 70 people (85% women) and has turned down a $450 million buyout offer from the Match Group earlier this year. And more recently, Match knocked on Herd’s door again to entice her with a valuation well over $1 billion.
Herd’s story is pretty wild. As cofounder and vice president of marketing at Tinder, she was essential in building up Tinder in a landscape where over 90% of online dating startups fail.
According to Forbes, in June 2014 Herd sued Tinder for sexual harassment, alleging that her ex-boss and ex-boyfriend Justin Mateen called her a “whore” and “gold digger.” Although the company denied any wrongdoing, Mateen was suspended and then resigned.
The abuse she received online from strangers on the internet for speaking up about the harassment inspired her to find a network to empower women. The app went live in December 2014 and garnered over 100,000 downloads in its first month. The rest is history.
“I always wanted to have a scenario where the guy didn’t have my number but I had his,” she recalls telling Andreev. “What if women make the first move, send the first message? And if they don’t, the match disappears after 24 hours, like in Cinderella, the pumpkin and the carriage? It’d be symbolic of a Sadie Hawkins dance–going after it, girls ask first. What if we could hardwire that into a product?”
The best part is: us dudes just have to swipe and wait for them to come to us. Don’t panic bro, you’re the Sac, they’ll come to you.[h/t Forbes]
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