On Thursday February 11th, at the young age of 31, Whitney Wolfe Herd became the youngest woman to take her company public, and it was a huge success. Wolfe Herd is the founder and CEO of the popular dating app Bumble. According to Business Insider, only about 20 women have ever founded a company that led to an IPO, or initial public offering. Wolfe Herd is considered to be a rare and self-made billionaire.
Bumble is known for being the dating app that caters to women, because it is made with women in mind. On Bumble, it’s up to women to make the first move, and according to Wolfe Herd, that was the plan all along. Wolfe Herd states in a touching letter that “The importance of a woman making the first move is not exclusive to the world of dating, romance or love. It is a powerful shift, giving women confidence and control.”
Bumbles first day on the stock market was a success to say the least. Fortune reports that shares of Bumble were initially priced at $43, and by mid-day on Thursday, soared to $76 a share, earning Wolfe Herd a multi-billion dollar payday. You can find Bumble on the stock market under the ticker BMBL.
Wolfe Herd founded Bumble in 2014 after leaving her vice president role at the competing dating app, Tinder. Shortly after leaving Tinder, she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her bosses and won her case, receiving over one million dollars worth of stock. Wolfe Herd ignited her IPO with her son on her hip, as she continued to show the world that being a successful hard working woman, mother, and CEO, is achievable against all odds.
Records were broken in 2020 as four women took their companies public, out of a total of 442 other companies, which is more than ever before. Business Insider demonstrates the ratio of women-founded companies that are public, and the results are shocking. Maria L. MacCecchini of Annovis Bio Inc (ANVS), Roni Mamluk of Ayala Pharmaceuticals (AYLA), Leen Kawas of Athira Pharma (ATHA), and Ann Marie Sastry of Amesite (AMST), were the only four women that took the huge step of their company becoming public.
Before Wolfe Herd, the last womans’ company to go public was Ann Marie Sastrys’ company Amesite in September of 2020. About an average of two female-founded companies go public each year, with a few exceptions. In 2017, out of 217 companies, only one was founded by a woman. In 2016, there were 125 companies that went public, which is unusually low, however, three of them were women founded.
In an interview with Fortune , Wolfe Herd explains that the feeling of taking her company public is surreal, and she’s excited for her record to be broken as she cheers on the next women that may be following in her footsteps.