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”That Bumble exists to empower women represents something of a transformation for Wolfe.
Before she launched the company, she didn’t even identify as a feminist.
“I think what’s been interesting for me—let me say this delicately—when I’ve been surrounded by men who don’t believe women are equal, I didn’t think women were equal, including myself.”During a coffee break at Bumble’s office, more than a dozen members of the staff, who are as loose and casual with one another as longtime friends, crowd around a laptop perched on the kitchen counter. It features the company’s director of college marketing jumping out of a plane shortly after she started chatting with a match on Bumble (the ad’s closing statement: #taketheleap).Now Bumble is betting that its matchmaking technology can do more than foster romantic or personal connections.After launching its Bumble BFF vertical a year ago, which pairs users with new friends, Wolfe is repositioning the company to make room for Bumble Bizz, a professional networking vertical debuting in early October where users can look for work, find a business partner, or hire new talent.The company called for a future in which Connor would “engage in everyday conversations with women without being afraid of their power”—and then, in an unusual move, banned him from using the service.Whitney Wolfe, Bumble’s 28-year-old founder and CEO, understands how it feels to be on the receiving end of such messages.