Dating with female
Men post pictures of themselves wearing button downs (not muscle tees) or hugging their moms (not endangered species.) And because they can’t message first, guys can’t hedge their bets by swiping right on every girl they see and messaging all of them to see who bites.
For Wolfe, 25, that key difference is about “changing the landscape” of online dating by putting women in control of the experience.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.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.A former member of Kappa at Southern Methodist University, Wolfe shows up at sororities with yellow balloons, cartons of yellow Hanky-Panky lacy underwear, and always, she says, “a cute purse.” Then she hands out a thong to each sorority sister who sends out 10 invitations to Bumble.
“By the end, I’d show up and they’d be like ‘Go away, we’re already all on it! Because of the female-first messaging model, Bumble seems to be free of some of the sleaziness that plagues Tinder, at least for now.
“I don’t think it’s been socially acceptable for women to drop out of college and start a tech company.” Wolfe is adamant that “Bumble has nothing to do with Tinder,” but the comparisons are inevitable—they have similar matching mechanisms (the swipe) similar designs (Tinder designers Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick also designed Bumble) and similar marketing on college campuses.
Still, Wolfe insists she’s not trying to beat Tinder at its own game.
With around half a million users sending 200,000 messages per day, it’s growing about 15% every week, Wolfe claims. 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.
“I felt like I was being punked or something, because all the guys are really good looking and had really good jobs,” explains Lauren Garzon, a 32-year old hotel manager in NYC.