A female-oriented company led by women has turned its 31-year-old female founder into a billionaire.

The stock of Bumble, the owner of the dating app, rose 67% to $72 (approximately Rs 5,250) at 1:03 pm (11:33 pm IST) in New York trading hours, rising for the first time in a transaction. This is the company’s chief executive. Official worth. Whitney Wolfe Herd (Whitney Wolfe Herd) shares are 1.5 billion US dollars (about 10.92 billion rupees).

For female tech founders, this list is both an inspiration and a legend of warning stories. Wolfe Herd used an underserved market to build a multi-billion dollar company. In a sense, this is one of the most difficult obstacles facing women entrepreneurs: sexual harassment.

“Hope this is not a rare title,” Wolfe Herd said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Thursday, referring to Bumble’s female-led management Uniqueness. Hope this will become the norm. This is the right thing. It is a priority for us, and it should be a priority for everyone else. “

Bumble’s IPO introduced Wolfe Herd into a rare self-made female billionaire club. The Bloomberg Billionaire Index shows that although women make up about half of the global population, self-made women (mostly from Asia) account for less than 5% of the world’s top 500 wealth. Self-made men account for almost two-thirds of the wealth index.

Top 500
Of the 559 companies listed in the United States in the past 12 months, apart from Bumble, only two were founded by women. The same goes for blank check companies, which are the most popular tools for getting rich on Wall Street today. The total number of SPACs sponsored by women is less than 12, which is only a small part of the 349 listed in the past year.

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This means that in the fastest wealth creation boom in history, women have largely been left behind. Bloomberg Index shows that last year, the 500 richest people in the world made 1.8 trillion US dollars (about 1,310.40 billion rupees), but 91% of their income was men.

Wealth split
“This is a huge victory,” said Allyson Kapin, a general partner of investment firm W Fund and founder of the Women Who Tech network. “Whitney sees an opportunity that is unsolvable for women. Based on her expertise, she has become this gold mine, not only for her and her team, but also for her investors.”

Among the many obstacles to women and other underrepresented people (including people of color) in the entrepreneurial world, harassment is one of the most common. Last year, a survey by Women’s Technology magazine found that 44% of the female founders surveyed stated that they had experienced sexual harassment at work, and more than one-third of them faced sexual harassment.

In fact, harassment prompted the birth of Bumble. After Wolfe Herd left Tinder (the dating app she helped find), he founded the company in Austin, Texas in 2014. This split is fierce, marked by a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Wolfe Herd against the company, accusing her of being repeatedly devalued by executives, among other things, and being stripped of her for having a “girl” The role of the co-founder. The company seems to be joking. The lawsuit was later resolved.

The monitor shows that Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd rang the opening bell during the Bumble Initial Public Offering (IPO) in front of the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York, on Thursday, February 11, 2021. After expanding the scale of the transaction, the priority for women to take action is to raise up to US$1.8 billion (approximately Rs 13,100 crore) of funds through the US IPO.

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Form experience

Experience is formative. She initially wanted to build a female-only social network for women to compliment each other, but eventually, on the advice of Russian technology billionaire Andrey Andreev, the founder of the dating technology app Badoo, Focus on matching.

With the support of Andreev, Wolfe Herd created the “Hornet” service, which “women serve women”, calling it the empowerment of women and strict harassment Place of supervision. With ads with banners, it has become the second most popular dating app in the United States, such as: “Become a CEO, and parents always want you to get married.”

When the Blackstone Group bought a majority stake in Bumble owners for approximately US$3 billion (approximately Rs 21,840 crore) last year, Wolfe Herd took over Andreev. As part of the transaction, Wolf Hurd received approximately 125 million US dollars (approximately 9.1 billion rupees) in cash and 119 million US dollars (approximately 8.7 billion rupees) in loans, which she has since repaid in full.

“Giving the baton to Whitney, I feel very comfortable,” Andreev said in an email. “It turns out that she is very knowledgeable and innovative in the field of dating.”

Key obstacle
Wolfe Herd’s partnership with Andreev helped her overcome the main obstacle to women-led, women-centric start-ups: funding. According to Pitchbook data, less than 3% of venture capital funds go to start-ups founded by women, and this number has hardly changed in the past decade.

Venture capitalists tend to provide money to those they know and those in the network, and this gap is maintained. Although there is evidence that women-led startups actually generate better returns than men-founded companies. Kauffman Foundation (Kauffman Foundation), MassChallenge and BCG research found that women founded companies generate more income, and capital use efficiency is greatly improved.

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“This is not charity, but big money.” Women Who Tech’s Kapin said.

Another high-profile listing that has attracted much attention is the listing of Honest, a baby and beauty product company co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, and is said to be preparing to go public.

Women in startups are optimistic about the upward trend. Austin venture capitalist Kelsi Kamin (Kelsi Kamin) said: “Whitney’s success will further promote investment in companies that serve female audiences or women founded.” “This is a very exciting time. “

©2021 Bloomberg

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