Its 31-year-old female founder has been made a billionaire by a business appealing to women and headed by women. Bumble Inc. stock, the owner of the dating app where girls make the first move, jumped 67 percent to $72 at 1:03 p.m. in its market debut. Valuing the stake of Chief Executive Officer Whitney Wolfe Herd at $1.5 billion in New York.
The listing caps a story that’s both an inspiration for women tech entrepreneurs and a cautionary tale. Wolfe Herd focused on an untapped market and created a multi-billion-dollar business that was born, in a way, from one of female entrepreneurship’s most perplexing barriers: sexual assault.
The IPO of Bumble launches Wolfe Herd into a salubrious group of self-made female billionaires.
“Hopefully this will not be a rare headline,” Wolfe Herd said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg Television, referring to the uniqueness of Bumble’s women-led management. “Hopefully this will be the norm. It’s the right thing to do, it’s a priority for us and it should be a priority for everyone else.”
Out of the 559 businesses that have got popular in the U.S. during the past 12 months, only two were created by women, apart from Bumble. It’s the same for blank-check companies, the preferred wealth-boosting engine of the moment for Wall Street. Women-sponsored SPACs, a fraction of the 349 mentioned in the previous year, numbered less than a dozen.
Key Obstacle For Women:
Women are positive about a rising tide in the start-up world. “Whitney’s success will help further the case for investing in businesses that serve a female audience or that are founded by women. It’s a super exciting time” Austin venture capitalist Kelsi Kamin stated.
It was actually sexual harassment that sparked Bumble’s formation. Following her exit from Tinder, the competing dating app she helped found, Wolfe Herd created the Austin, Texas-based business in 2014. The separation was fractious, marked by a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against the business by Wolfe Herd. The suit was later settled.
“I felt very comfortable handing the baton to Whitney. She has proved to be very insightful and innovative in the dating space.” Andreev said in an email.
The association of Wolfe Herd with Andreev supported her conquer a crucial barrier to women-led, female-focused startups: financing. According to Pitchbook statistics, less than 3 percent of venture capital dollars go to companies created by women, a statistic that has remained steady over the past decade.