Youngest Self-Made Billionaire Witney Wolfe Herd's Journey to Success

By: GWL Team | Friday, 5 April 2024

With an idea of founding a female-focused dating app ‘Bumble’, Whitney Wolfe Herd became one of the well celebrated women entrepreneurs in the US. Despite experiencing criticism after resigning from Tinder, she built another successful platform and eventually became billionaire at the age of 31.  

The business realm has been witnessing a gradual rise of women in all sectors across the world. Women have proved that they can excel everywhere, becoming founders, CEOs and in being at C-suite positions. With their adroit decision-making skills and analytical dexterity, these businesswomen are building profitable businesses that are scalable in nature.

In United States, around 14 million businesses that are owned by women make upto 39.1 per cent which indicates an increase of 13.6 per cent from 2019 to 2023, according to Well Fargo’s 2024 Impact of Women-Owned Businesses report. With a Gross domestic product (GDP) of $25,462.70B in the year 2022, and economic growth of $20,891.37B in 2018, women entrepreneurs capture 47 per cent of the US business sphere in the year 2022, as reported by Gusto.

America tops the list when it comes to having the highest number of female billionaires globally while the number reaches 97 in 2024. American women like Alice Walton, Julia Koch, Jacqueline Mars and Miriam Adelson are celebrated for being the richest businesswomen in the country with highest net worths.

Amongst all these women entrepreneurs, there comes a name who has become the world's youngest female billionaire in the year 2021. She is none other than Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder, executive chair, and former CEO of an extremely famous yet distinguished dating platform, Bumble and the co-founder of another pathbreaking dating platform, Tinder.

From Ground to Peak

Born to Jewish-Catholic parents, Kelly Wolfe and Michael Wolfe, Whitney Wolfe completed her schooling at Judge Memorial Catholic High School. She then went on to attend Southern Methodist University where she specialised in international studies. Additionally, she was the member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority as well.

Whitney’s penchant for business was seen at the age of 20 when she started her first ever business of selling bamboo tote bags. The business was committed to aid BP oil spill affected areas. In a collaboration with celebrity stylist Patrick Aufdenkamp, Whitney launched a project entitled as ‘Help Us Project’ which was a non-profit organisation (NGO).

Following the success of her NGO, Whitney ventured on a journey to start a second business of clothing line with Patrick named ‘Tender Heart’. Likewise, the brand was exclusively committed to raising awareness around human trafficking and fair trade.

Journey from Tinder to Bumble

Whitney Wolfe joined Tinder in the development team along with Rad and Chris Gulczynski soon after her previous organisation Cardify was abandoned. Shortly after, she became the Vice President of marketing for the firm while drawing a great number of user base for the app.

With everything working well, there came a turbulence in her professional journey when she resigned from the organisation in 2014 and filed a lawsuit for sexual harassment against Tinder. As part of settlement, she received over US$1 million along with stocks in the same year.

Her second business venture started in December 2014 after going through tremendous online hatred, when she founded a female-focused dating app, Bumble. Within a year, the platform gained popularity with over 15 million conversations and 80 million matches. Beholding the growing admiration of the app, Badoo founder, Andrey Andreev partnered with Whitney and that is the reason, Bumble is majorly owned by Badoo.

Whitney Wolfe’s Achievement

Besides being the youngest female billionaire across the world in 2021, Whitney is also counted as the youngest woman to take an organisation public in the US. With her skills and resilience, she marked her name in the ‘Time 100 List’ in 2018 while having mentioned in the ‘Forbes 30 Under 30’ in 2017 and 2018.

Additionally, she has been mentioned as one of the 2014 ‘Business Insider's 30 Most Important Women Under 30 In Tech’ and ‘Elle's Women in Tech’ in 2016. Having listed in the ‘TechCrunch’ feature on ‘42 women succeeding in tech’, she became one of the most successful yet famous businesswoman in the year 2017.

Amongst all the female businesswomen in the states, Whitney’s net worth was nearly $510 million in 2023 as estimated by Forbes. Furthermore, she was mentioned by Forbes in its ‘Top 100 America's richest self-made women’ at the number 33 in 2022.

To Whitney’s credit, she has created a dating platform that makes women feel safe and secure. Despite battling severe backlash online for coming out with sexual harassment allegations, she broke pre-existing ceilings of success for women entrepreneurs. A young achiever, Whitney serves as an inspiration for young women across the globe.