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Whitney Wolfe Herd, Women Entrepreneur, Whitney Wolfe Herd Biography,
Founder Stories Women Entrepreneur

Whitney Wolfe Herd: Trailblazing Entrepreneur and Bumble Founder

Whitney Wolfe Herd, born on July 1, 1989, is a renowned American entrepreneur known for founding Bumble, an online dating platform launched in 2014. She is the executive chair and former CEO of Bumble, which is publicly traded. Wolfe Herd is also a co-founder and the former Vice President of Marketing for Tinder.

Whitney Wolfe Herd

Recognized for her significant contributions to the tech industry, Wolfe Herd was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2017 and 2018 and included in the Time 100 List in 2018. In February 2021, she became the world’s youngest female billionaire at age 31 after taking Bumble public, making her the youngest woman to do so in the United States.

Early Life and Education

Whitney Wolfe Herd was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Kelly Wolfe, a Catholic, and Michael Wolfe, a wealthy Jewish property developer. She attended Judge Memorial Catholic High School and spent a sabbatical in Paris, France, during sixth grade.

Wolfe Herd studied international studies at Southern Methodist University, where she joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. At 20, she started a business selling bamboo tote bags to aid areas affected by the BP oil spill. Partnering with celebrity stylist Patrick Aufdenkamp, she launched the “Help Us Project,” a nonprofit that gained national attention when celebrities like Rachel Zoe and Nicole Richie were seen with the bags. She later co-founded “Tender Heart,” a clothing line aimed at raising awareness about human trafficking and fair trade. After graduating, she traveled to Southeast Asia to work with orphanages.


Early Career

In 2012, at age 22, Wolfe Herd joined the startup Cardify, a project led by Sean Rad through the Hatch Labs IAC incubator. Although the project was abandoned, she joined the development team for the dating app Tinder (formerly known as MatchBox) alongside Rad and Chris Gulczynski. As Tinder’s Vice President of Marketing, Wolfe Herd was instrumental in naming the app and growing its popularity, particularly among college students.

Wolfe Herd resigned from Tinder in April 2014 due to increasing tensions with other executives. In June 2014, she filed a lawsuit against Tinder for sexual harassment, eventually receiving more than $1 million and stock as part of a settlement in September 2014.

Bumble, Inc.

After facing online harassment, Wolfe Herd began designing a female-only social network called Merci. Despite initial reluctance to return to the dating industry, she partnered with Badoo founder Andrey Andreev to develop a new female-friendly dating app, initially intended to be named Moxie but ultimately launched as Bumble.

In December 2014, Wolfe Herd founded Bumble in Austin, Texas. By December 2015, Bumble had facilitated over 15 million conversations and 80 million matches. With Andreev’s partnership, the company expanded rapidly, and by November 2017, Bumble had over 22 million users.

Wolfe Herd’s achievements earned her spots on Business Insider’s 30 Most Important Women Under 30 in Tech in 2014 and Elle’s Women in Tech in 2016. She was also featured in TechCrunch’s 2017 list of women succeeding in tech.

In March 2019, Wolfe Herd testified before the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence committee about the issue of unsolicited explicit photos on dating apps. That same year, she launched Bumble Mag in collaboration with Hearst.

In November 2019, Bumble’s parent company MagicLab was sold to The Blackstone Group, valuing the company at $3 billion with an estimated 75 million users. Wolfe Herd became CEO of MagicLab, holding a 19% ownership stake. In 2020, Bumble replaced MagicLab as the parent company of Bumble and Badoo, boasting over 100 million users worldwide.

In February 2021, Bumble’s valuation soared to $13 billion after going public. Wolfe Herd made history by ringing the Nasdaq bell with her 18-month-old son on her hip. Her successful IPO made her the youngest female billionaire.

As of May 2023, Forbes estimated her net worth at approximately $510 million. In November 2023, Wolfe Herd announced she would transition to the role of executive chair in January 2024, with Lidiane Jones stepping in as Bumble’s CEO.

Personal Life

In December 2013, Whitney Wolfe Herd met oil and gas heir Michael Herd on a skiing trip in Aspen. They married in 2017 and have two sons, Bobby and Henry, born in 2019 and 2022, respectively.

In 2022, Forbes ranked Wolfe Herd 33rd on the list of America’s richest self-made women, up from 39th in 2020.


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