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The Incredible Journey Of Wolfe Herd And The Dating App Bumble Which Went Public

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The Incredible Journey Of Wolfe Herd And The Dating App Bumble Which Went Public,Startup Stories,Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd becomes the youngest woman to take a company public,Bumble Cofounder Becomes World’s Youngest Self-Made Woman Billionaire, Thanks To IPO,Shares in dating app Bumble soar in first day of trading on Nasdaq,Austin dating app Bumble sets price for $2.2 billion IPO will start trading Thursday,Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd on Bloomberg Studio 1.0,Read Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd's letter celebrating the company publicly filing for an IPO


Silicon Valley woke up to the news of the dating app Bumble making its public debut.  Bumble is a dating app which caters to women and is led by a woman named Whitney Wolfe Herd.  As soon as Bumble made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NSE,)  shares of the dating app soared by as much as 67%.  This led to the net worth ofWolfe Herd, the Chief Executive Officer of Bumble, to be valued at $1.5 billion, thereby making her a self made billionaire at just the age of 31.  Bumble plans to use the $2.2 billion proceeds from the IPO to pay off debt, fund international growth, and pursue acquisitions.

However, the story of Wolfe Herd and Bumble is one of mettle, grit and inspiration.  The journey of the unicorn is nothing short of a story.  Keep reading to find out how Wolfe Herd founded a company to rival Tinder.

Journey

Wolfe Herd began her journey as a co founder of Tinder, the world’s biggest dating app.  Whitney Wolfe Herd was Vice President of Marketing, at Tinder when she began her journey.  However,  Wolfe Herd alleged she was subjected to sexual harassment by her colleagues at Tinder and that she was stripped of her co founder tag because having a girl with that tag makes the company seems like a joke.  Wolfe Herd walked out of Tinder and filed a lawsuit against Match Group, the parent company of Tinder.  The lawsuit was settled out of the court for $ 1 million.

It was her experiences at Tinder which led Wolfe Herd to start Bumble, a dating app which lets women make the first move.  Women can swipe across profiles of men and choose to begin a conversation after a match.  At no point in this process could a man make the first move thereby putting women in firm control about the conversation as well as offering them a safety net.  

After taking some time off following the nasty lawsuit with Tinder, Wolfe Herd received an email from a Russian named Andrey Andreev, who is based in London and founded Badoo, another dating app which was the world’s largest dating app at that time (2014.)  Andreev was impressed with Wolfe Herd’s commitment at Tinder and said he would help her with her new startup and ended up investing $ 10 million in her idea.  Andrey Andreev would own 79% stake while Wolfe Herd owns 20% and the title of CEO and at the same time be able to tap into the infrastructure and resources of Badoo.  Herd and Andreev brought in former Tinder executives Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick, to design the new app’s back end and user interface.  Both Mick and  Gulczynski share the remaining 1% stake between themselves.

ALSO READ: Tinder: The Unique Story Behind The Swipes

During a cocktail event, Andrey and Wolfe Herd were discussing a scenario where women could make the first move and get the phone number of a guy after a match.  However, the match would disappear after 24 hours if neither of the parties made a move.  This became the core of Bumble and the secret sauce for its success.

By January 2015, about a month after launch, Bumble had about 100,000 downloads.  By the end of 2017, two years after launching, Bumble had amassed more than 22 million users.  This growth was noticed by Tinder which then made a buyout offer for $ 450 million.  Wolfe Herd rejected the offer immediately.  By July 2020, Bumble announced it had reached 100 million users.  Today, Bumble is available in 150 countries and is expanding into new areas like business networking.  In 2019, revenue jumped more than 35% and it turned a profit of $ 68.6 million.  More than 10% of Bumble’s users pay $9.99 for a monthly subscription to access perks like extra time to decide whether a suitor merits a message.  At Tinder, just about 5% of users pay for a similar service.

Today Bumble is the second largest dating app in the world and only continues to grow with its closest competitor being Tinder.

 

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Supreme Court Puts End to Misleading Celebrity Endorsements 

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Supreme Court Of India

The Supreme Court of India has taken a strong stance against misleading advertisements featuring public figures, emphasizing their responsibility in promoting products. This decision comes in response to concerns about the influence celebrities and public figures hold over consumer choices.

 

The Heart of the Matter:

 

The court’s ruling highlights two key points:

 

  1. Shared Responsibility: Advertisers, advertising agencies, and the public figures endorsing products are all equally liable for issuing misleading advertisements. This means that celebrities can no longer simply lend their face to a product without due diligence. They are expected to have a good understanding of the product and its claims before endorsing it.

 

  1. Self-Declaration:  The court mandated a stricter protocol requiring advertisers to obtain a self-declaration from endorsers. This declaration, similar to the Cable Television Networks Rules (1994), ensures that the advertised product complies with existing laws and avoids offensive content.

 

Why it Matters:

 

Celebrity endorsements hold immense power in influencing consumer behavior. Consumers often trust the judgment of their favorite actors, athletes, or social media personalities. This trust can be exploited by promoting products with exaggerated claims or those lacking scientific backing. 

 

The Case that Triggered the Ruling:

 

The court’s decision stemmed from a case involving Patanjali Ayurved Ltd., a popular Indian consumer goods company, and yoga guru Ramdev. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) filed a plea against the company and Ramdev, accusing them of misleading advertisements and a smear campaign against COVID-19 vaccinations and modern medicine.

 

The Road Ahead:

 

This ruling is a significant step toward protecting consumers from deceptive marketing practices.  It encourages celebrities and public figures to be more selective and responsible about the products they endorse. Additionally, the court urged government bodies to implement procedures for consumers to easily report misleading advertisements. 

 

This move by the Supreme Court is likely to have a ripple effect across the advertising industry in India.  It will force companies to be more transparent and hold celebrities accountable for promoting products they don’t fully understand or that make unsubstantiated claims. 

 

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Mercedes Hits the Brakes on EVs: Profit Woes Lead to Focus on Gas-Powered Cars

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StartupStories - Mercedes

Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is experiencing a shift in gears, prioritizing gasoline-powered vehicles over its previously ambitious electric vehicle (EV) strategy. This comes after disappointing sales figures and shrinking profit margins for their electric offerings.

The Dream Runs out of Charge:

Mercedes, a leader in the luxury car market, had set a goal to be fully electric by 2030. However, sluggish sales of their electric vehicles, particularly the high-end EQS and EQE sedans, have forced a recalibration of their plans. The company’s profit margin dipped to a concerning 9% in the first quarter of 2024, falling below their long-term target range.

Why the Slow Charge?

Several factors are contributing to the lackluster performance of Mercedes’ EVs:

  •  Price Point Pinch: The high price tag of Mercedes’ electric cars, ranging from $70,000 to $120,000, limits their appeal compared to more affordable electric options. 
  •  Competition Heats Up: Other luxury carmakers like Tesla and BMW are offering strong competition, with some even surpassing Mercedes in EV sales growth. 
  •  Infrastructure Concerns: Gaps in charging infrastructure and anxieties about range remain significant deterrents for potential EV buyers.

Back to the Drawing Board:

In response to these challenges, Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius announced a revised strategy. The company will:

  •  Extend Focus on Combustion Engines:  Production of gasoline-powered and hybrid vehicles will continue well into the 2030s, catering to customer demand.
  •  Rethink EV Strategy: Mercedes will analyze consumer preferences and market trends to refine their electric car offerings. This may involve focusing on more affordable models or improving features to enhance range and charging efficiency.

The Road Ahead

The shift by Mercedes highlights the complexities of the automotive industry’s transition to electric vehicles. It underscores the need for car manufacturers to balance ambitious environmental goals with the realities of consumer behavior and market competition.

Is this a Permanent Pause?

While Mercedes is putting the brakes on its all-electric vision, it doesn’t necessarily signal a complete retreat from EVs. The company may leverage this time to strengthen its electric offerings and ensure they are competitive in the rapidly evolving market. Only time will tell if Mercedes can reclaim its position as a leader in the electric vehicle race.

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Reddit Soars After Strong Earnings and Upbeat Outlook

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Reddit, the social media platform known for its online communities and meme culture, saw its stock price jump significantly after releasing its first earnings report since going public in March. Investors were impressed by the company’s strong financial performance and optimistic forecasts for the future.

The report highlighted a surge in user engagement, with daily active users increasing by 37% to 82.7 million in the first quarter. This growth was accompanied by an 8% rise in average revenue per user, indicating Reddit’s success in monetizing its platform. 

Perhaps the most significant factor driving the stock price increase was Reddit’s forecast for the second quarter. The company projected revenue to fall between $240 million and $255 million, exceeding analyst expectations. Additionally, Reddit anticipates achieving break-even status or even generating a profit, surpassing predictions of a loss.

This positive outlook can be attributed in part to Reddit’s flourishing advertising business. The company is also capitalizing on a new revenue stream: content licensing deals with artificial intelligence (AI) firms. Reddit’s vast collection of user-generated content provides valuable data for training AI models, attracting companies like Google.

Analysts believe Reddit is still in its early stages of monetization and predict continued growth in the coming quarters, fueled by advancements in ad targeting and measurement tools. This optimism is reflected in the stock price surge, which has climbed roughly 70% since Reddit’s IPO.

Overall, Reddit’s first earnings report paints a bright picture for the company’s future. With a thriving user base, increasing revenue opportunities, and a promising outlook, Reddit appears well-positioned for continued success in the ever-evolving social media landscape.

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