Dating app Bumble, founded by woman entrepreneur and former tech executive Whitney Wolfe Herd, is reportedly preparing an initial public offering for early next year. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Dating app Bumble was founded by woman entrepreneur and former tech executive Whitney Wolfe Herd. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Bumble is embarking upon its biggest date yet.

The dating and social networking app, founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd, is set to become a publicly traded company Thursday. Its trading debut on Nasdaq has been a highly anticipated affair — with Bumble expected to raise as much as $1.8 billion after boosting its initial public offering size. 

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For any company, an IPO is a noteworthy step. But as a rare female founder in the public markets, Herd is now part of an elite club of sorts. By our count, just 31 public companies were founded by women. It’s especially shocking when you consider that roughly 6,000 companies are presently publicly traded.

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Herd is no stranger to tackling sexism on a big stage, though. She co-founded rival dating app Tinder, then later sued the company for sexual harassment in 2014. And the money she won in the settlement helped her launch Bumble.

A pro-women ethos is also baked into the app itself, as women are the ones tasked with initiating romantic contact. “In heterosexual matches, the woman has 24 hours to make the first move and the man has 24 hours to respond,” the site explains.