After failing to buy out their competitor Bumble, Match Group, the parent company of Tinder, is attempting to sue them for patent infringement. The suit alleges that Bumble, a feminist dating app founded by one of the co-founders of Tinder, is infringing on two of Tinder’s patents – one of these patents being the swiping feature. It also claims that two early executives of Bumble’s, Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick, also previous employees at Tinder, stole confidential information regarding Tinder features that were in development and used this information to develop Bumble.
There is a significant history between Bumble and Tinder. Whitney Wolfe, the founder and CEO of Bumble, co-founded Tinder and was the VP of Marketing until she left in May 2014, suing Tinder over sexual harassment and stating in her lawsuit that she was stripped of her co-founder at Tinder because her age and gender as a co-founder made the company seem like a joke. In 2017, Match Group offered to buy Bumble for $450 million. The company appears to be closing a book now, however, with their open letter to Match Group that discusses the bullying tactics used by Match Group that Bumble refuses to fall victim to. Bumble emphasized their feminist values in the open letter, which said that “empowerment is in our DNA” of the app itself.
As the founder and CEO of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe prides herself on her feminism and shows it through the unique concept of Bumble, where women make the first move. This feature aims to empower women and to change the culture where men are expected to lead romantic relationships. Either partner is allowed to make the first move in same-sex matches. Bumble has also launched new features recently, such as Bumble BFF, a feature for finding platonic matches, and Bumble Bizz, a part of the app that enables women to make the first move in business-related endeavors as well as romantic ones.
Wolfe attended college at Southern Methodist University, where she earned a degree in International Studies. She soon learned that entrepreneurship was in her blood when she started a business in college selling bamboo tote bags, and she entered the world of startups at age 22. She soon gained a role as vice president of marketing of Tinder and is credited with the name and design of the app. She married her husband, Michael Herd, in October of 2017.