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.“And girls like it because it gives them more control over the conversation than other dating apps.” Besides, just as women are sick of waiting for men to make the first move, some guys are sick of always having to come up with a line.“It’s flattering when someone reaches out to you,” says Larry Mahl, a 32-year old New Yorker who works at Yelp. (Wolfe is dating someone, but still swipes and messages in order to get user feedback.) She had messaged him that she was the founder of the company, and asked him for his thoughts.
For Wolfe, 25, that key difference is about “changing the landscape” of online dating by putting women in control of the experience.’ 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 Bumble.“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?“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 24 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.We verify each woman's profile thoroughly before adding it to our database.If a woman wants to place her profile on Romance Compass.com, she needs to visit our partner's office and provide a copy of her ID.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.