Hey, everyone, this incident and welcome to a brand new episode of Let's Do Shots March is Women's History Month. And today we are unpacking the story of Whitney Wellford, founder of Bumble, who recently rang Nasdaq's opening bell with a baby on the hip.
The American entrepreneur is making history in many ways from being the youngest woman in the U.S. to take a company public being crowned as the youngest self-made female billionaire at 31. So let's do shots at.
The origin story of bamboo intertwines with that of its greatest rival, Dindo, shortly after graduating in 2012 with met Justin Maddin and Sean Ryan in California. They formed a small team and launched into in late 2012. Whitney served as the vice president of marketing at Dindo and wonderful onliest marketing gimmicks included traveling to her university and distributing paper fliers that read Find Out Who Likes You on campus. She crash student meetings and parties and grad students to sign up for the dating app.
She and Justin eventually became a couple. However, things took an ugly turn. In 2014, she had to quit the team due to sexual harassment from her ex boss and now ex-boyfriend, and for being wrongly stripped of a call from detective. Justin allegedly said that Whitney shouldn't be listed as a co-founder because a woman co-founder makes the company seem like a joke. The lawsuit ended with Justin resigning from the company, Whitney retaining her co-founder status, and Tinder's settling without any admission of wrongdoing for some rumored to be more than a million dollars.
But you know what they say, success is the sweetest revenge. And there was a lot of that in store for Whitney. Soon after the drama Bhatinda was wrapped up, Whitney founded its greatest rival, Bundle, a dating app that put women first. The objective was simple to empower women in the space that was dominated by the antiquated gender dynamic that men had to make the first move.
But the journey from Tinder to Bumble wasn't as seamless as it looks during a court battle, Whitney faced a barrage of hate on night. Things got really intense when she started receiving death threats, and she was eventually compelled to deactivate a Twitter account. Like in every movie plot with the hero, she decided to turn her pain into purpose as an attempt to be the change she wanted to see in the world. She started working on the female only social network called Mersea, a platform for teen girls on which complements were the only form of communication into a Russian businessman.
Andre Andreev, founder of the world's most widely used dating app. Badoo Andre reached out to Whitney in hopes of helping her in as Bourdos chief marketing officer. She declined his offer, but the two of them got talking and consistently nudged her towards working on another dating app. Now, she didn't want to get into the online dating space again, but she always wanted to have a scenario where the guy didn't have her number, but she had his this was the Eureka moment.
What if women make the first move?
It would be symbolic of a Sadie Hawkins dance in which girls ask first, what if they could hardwired that into a product? Turns out they can, and they did. Andre made an investment of about ten million dollars and seventy nine percent of the company. She became the founder, the CEO and a 20 percent owner while tapping into Bourdos infrastructure and Andre's expertize. Bambu finally launched in December 2014 and women were more than ready for this. After tons of bad experiences on dating apps, women could finally have the chance to start the conversation and get rid of unsolicited photos that plagued the online dating world.
It was a breath of fresh air, with you once again tapped into university networks to market a new product.
And the rest is history. In 2016, the platform rolled out bamboo beefs which enable women to create platonic friendships bamboo. This was rolled out in 2017 for professional networking and mentoring.
Fast forward 2021. Bamboo is listed on the Nasdaq stock market, and Whitney's net worth soared to over one point five billion dollars. Whitney Wellford might have entered one of the most crowded and established digital fields a little late, but she quickly carved out a lucrative space by focusing on the needs of one segment women.