bumble dating app
Courtesy of Bumble


Beyond better dating

Bumble shook up the world of online dating by addressing women’s concerns about meeting men online. On the Bumble app, heterosexual connections must be initiated by women, which supporters say reduces harassment. The approach has paid off: while it still trails industry leader Tinder in downloads, Bumble nearly doubled its number of users in the past year, reaching 40 million and continuing to attract more than 550,000 new users each week. CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd is looking for other ways the platform can empower women. The company launched Bumble BFF (a way to find friends) and Bumble Bizz (a career network). Bumble remains embroiled in a legal battle with rival dating app Tinder, which Wolfe Herd co-founded. Tinder parent company Match Group alleges Bumble copied it. Bumble called the suit “baseless” and countersued. Meanwhile, Tinder is testing its own women-message-first feature. Bumble is now pursuing an initial public offering, expanding to India in collaboration with actor Priyanka Chopra, and broadening its brand beyond dating to media and venture capital. The goal, Wolfe Herd has said, is to make Bumble “the world’s premiere empowerment company.” —Katie Reilly

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