Bumble CEO becomes female billionaire, takes company public with son on her hip

Bumble CEO becomes female billionaire, takes company public with son on her hip
Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
| ABC News Radio

By KATIE KINDELAN, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Whitney Wolfe Herd, the CEO of female-focused dating app Bumble, made history Thursday and she did it with her young son at her side.

Wolfe Herd, 31, became the youngest female CEO to take a company public in the United States.

With shares of Bumble soaring nearly 70% in its trading debut, Wolfe Herd also became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, according to Forbes.

When Wolfe Herd pressed the button to take the company she founded public on Nasdaq, she did so while holding her 1-year-old son, Bobby Lee “Bo” Herd II.

Bumble shared a photo of the moment on Instagram alongside the caption, “This is what leadership looks like.”

Wolfe Herd founded Bumble in 2014 after an acrimonious split from Tinder, a dating app she also co-founded.

Alongside a female-driven management team, Wolfe Herd has focused the Austin-based company on a female empowerment message since its inception. The dating app stands out for letting women “make the first move,” one of the company’s slogans.

On the app, women have to initiate conversation after matching with a prospective partner.

Wolfe Herd tweeted a message of thanks to women on the app as the company went public.

“This is only possible thanks to the more than 1.7 billion first moves made by brave women on our app — and the pioneering women who paved the way for us in the business world,” she wrote. “Thank you.”

Bumble’s IPO success has launched Wolfe Herd into a very small club of female billionaire founders.

Self-made women account for less than 5% of the world’s 500 biggest fortunes, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

In addition to Bumble, just two of the more than 500 companies that have gone public in the U.S. in the past year were founded by women, according to Bloomberg.

Bumble’s board comprises 73% women and its management team comprises 54% women, according to the company’s SEC filings.

“Hopefully this will not be a rare headline,” Wolfe Herd told Bloomberg Television Thursday about Bumble’s female-led management team. “Hopefully this will be the norm. It’s the right thing to do, it’s a priority for us and it should be a priority for everyone else.”

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