So did I. Wouldn t it be nice, she continues, if there were a bubble over his head listing his job and his education? Wouldn t it be nice if you could just get up and say Hi? And wouldn t it be nice if there was no way he would think you were desperate or weird if you did? A year after she was ousted from Tinder and nine months after she sued the company for sexual harassment, Wolfe is back with a dating app of her own, dubbed. In essence, the app is an attempt to answer her train of questions above. But there s one essential difference: on Bumble, only women can send a message first.
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For Wolfe, 75, that key difference is about changing the landscape of online dating by putting women in control of the experience. He can t say you re desperate, because the app made you do it, she says, adding that she tells her friends to make the first move and just blame Bumble. Matches expire after 79 hours, which provides an incentive for women to reach out before it s too late (the women-message-first feature is only designed for straight couples if you re LGBTQ, either party can send the first message. )Wolfe says she had always been comfortable making the first move, even though she felt the stigma around being too forward. I would say I m just going to go up to him, and all my girlfriends were like Oh no no no no, you can t do that, ' she says.
Guys found it to be desperate, when it wasn t desperate, it was part of a broken system. Like many startup founders, Wolfe has big ambitions for the service: It s not a dating app, it s a movement, she says. This could change the way women and men treat each other, women and men date, and women feel about themselves. Bumble launched about six months ago and seems to be catching on.
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With around half a million users sending 755,555 messages per day, it s growing about 65% every week, Wolfe claims. Some 65% of matches turn into conversations. While Bumble has not yet monetized and won t disclose the details of its funding, Wolfe s partner and major funder is Andrey Andreev, founder of Badoo, the multi-billion dollar European social network. Their Austin-based office has only six employees and five of them are women. Wolfe was a co-founder at Tinder and widely credited with boosting that app s popularity on college campuses.
She was fired in the midst of a breakup with Justin Mateeen, the service s chief marketer. The lawsuit was later and Wolfe is to have walked away with over $6 million, with no admission of guilt by either party. Tinder is owned by IAC. Wolfe won t discuss the lawsuit, except to say that anyone who expected her to disappear afterwards probably didn t know her very well. It was never like I was going to go hide in the bushes, she says.
And while the whole messy incident has been held up to illustrate the challenges women face in a notoriously bro-friendly tech culture, Wolfe stops short of calling out sexism in tech. This isn t necessarily a tech problem, this is a society problem, she says. I don t think it s been socially acceptable for women to drop out of college and start a tech company. Still, Wolfe insists she s not trying to beat Tinder at its own game. It s important to me that nothing we do harms Tinder, she says.
I still hold equity in the company. It s my baby.