Business plans online dating dating service for professional people
After launching its Bumble BFF vertical a year ago, which pairs users with new friends, Wolfe is repositioning the company to make room for Bumble Bizz, a professional networking vertical debuting in early October where users can look for work, find a business partner, or hire new talent.The original dating service will be rebranded as Bumble Honey.Unlike many other professional and social networks, which exist to connect you to people you know, Bizz’s mission is to introduce you to new contacts, with added protections like verified profiles.One key to Bizz’s success will be drawing a new demographic of users into Bumble’s ecosystem.But when Ashley asked an innocent question about work, Connor launched into a misogynistic rant in which he called her a “gold-digging whore.” Bumble’s response, a fiery blog post now known as the “Dear Connor” letter, quickly went viral.The company called for a future in which Connor would “engage in everyday conversations with women without being afraid of their power”—and then, in an unusual move, banned him from using the service.
”That Bumble exists to empower women represents something of a transformation for Wolfe.
“I think what’s been interesting for me—let me say this delicately—when I’ve been surrounded by men who don’t believe women are equal, I didn’t think women were equal, including myself.”During a coffee break at Bumble’s office, more than a dozen members of the staff, who are as loose and casual with one another as longtime friends, crowd around a laptop perched on the kitchen counter. It features the company’s director of college marketing jumping out of a plane shortly after she started chatting with a match on Bumble (the ad’s closing statement: #taketheleap).
Wolfe, who enlisted student ambassadors to make Tinder a hit on college campuses around the country, did the same with Bumble.
Whitney Wolfe, Bumble’s 28-year-old founder and CEO, understands how it feels to be on the receiving end of such messages.
Flanked by a handful of the 30 employees (mostly women) who work out of the company’s Austin office, she explains that she founded Bumble in 2014 “in response to our dating issues, our issues with men, our issues with gender dynamics.” At the time, Wolfe had been reeling from her dramatic exit from the dating app Tinder, where she served as VP of marketing.
The challenge, says Bumble’s director of marketing, Chelsea Cain Maclin, is convincing “someone like my mother, who is married and has three kids and now wants to get back into healthcare work, that we have something to offer her.”This fall, Bumble is launching a targeted national ad campaign, geared toward women and men of varying ages, that will promote the idea that just one connection can transform your professional life.