The Bumble dating app on Thursday debuted on Wall Street, catapulting its CEO to billionaire status and making her one of the few self-made female billionaires.
Bumble, the dating app that requires women in heterosexual matches to make the first move, priced its shares at $43 ahead of trading on Thursday — higher than the original $28 to $30 forecast, CNN Business reported. It started trading on Nasdaq under the ticker “BMBL.”
The increase was enough to value CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd’s stake at more than $900 million, boosting her overall wealth to more than $1 billion, according to Bloomberg News.
Wolfe Herd held her baby at the small event marking the official launch of the app on Wall Street.
Wolfe Herd joins the small group of self-made female billionaires, who mostly reside in Asia and make up less than 5 percent of the world’s 500 largest fortunes, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The world’s 500 richest people in 2020 gained $1.8 trillion, with 91 percent of that going to men.
She founded the Austin, Texas-based Bumble in 2014 after leaving a job at Tinder, which she later sued for sexual harassment in a now-settled case, according to Bloomberg News. She originally aimed to create a women-centric social media platform but turned to a dating app.
"You don't have to be one type of person to find success in the business world or in the tech industry," Wolfe Herd told CNN in an interview. "I've truly just always tried to build what I wish existed, what I wish could help make lives better for the women I care about and the people I love, and I think it doesn't always have to follow the same path."
Last year, the Blackstone Group bought a majority stake in Bumble, valuing the company at $3 billion.
Wolfe Herd, 31, became one of the youngest female CEOs in technology to take her company public. A total of 559 firms have gone public in the U.S. in the last year, with only three, including Bumble, having female founders.