Bumble will exist as long as women do, CEO says

Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd wants to build a truly timeless company.

“You can never disrupt the need for humans to connect. And the other thing that you can never disrupt is the need for women to feel respected and to feel equal and to feel safe and empowered in those connections. And those are truly the two things that we as a group seek to do,” Wolfe Herd said onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020. “We truly believe that as long as there are women on planet Earth — which there would be no planet Earth without them — we believe we will be in business.”

The statement from the executive highlighted a broader point she was making about Bumble’s untapped market opportunities and how she stacks the company up against its competitors.

“We aren’t sitting comparing ourselves to anybody else in the space, and candidly, we don’t really see just the dating space as our competition,” Wolfe Herd told TechCrunch. “We truly believe that our [lifetime value] opportunity is so exponential and that we can serve our audience in so many deep rooted ways beyond dating.”

Wolfe Herd has had a busy year. In late 2019 the Bumble founder took control of a broader suite of dating apps from her founding partner Andrey Andreev. Wolfe Herd now leads not only the Bumble app, but is also in charge of the Badoo, Lumen and Chappy dating apps. The dating app empire was last valued at $3 billion following Andreev’s stock sale to Blackstone.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that the company was aiming for a 2021 debut on the public markets, targeting a valuation north of $6 billion. In July, Fast Company reported that Bumble now has 100 million users.

Wolfe Herd has had to deal with leading a larger team through 2020 and a pandemic that has greatly complicated the logistics of dating, complicating user habits and leading the team to make new updates to meet shifting consumer demands.

Even with all of the changes, Wolfe Herd says the app has found new opportunities.

“With the increased demand for connectivity and for people to have an outlet to meet new people paired with this almost secondary pandemic, which is loneliness, we are very well positioned to be an incredibly durable business during this time,” Wolfe Herd says.