The media reporting of the case was extensive and in the summer of 2014 Whitney was the subject of vicious trolling from strangers of both sexes.‘Emails, texts, tweets, people showing up at my house – really weird and horrible stuff happened,’ she remembers, shaking her head.
Five years ago Tinder revolutionised dating; the location-based app delivered a deck of candidates based on proximity straight to a phone screen, with a small selection of snapshots and a brief bio.
Then, in late 2014, another dating app launched with a potentially even more revolutionary USP.
Romance rarely blossoms between strangers in bars these days.
For anyone under 40 who is dating, single and in possession of a smartphone, potential partners are generally now located in the palm of one’s hand.
‘I could travel the world, I could start companies, but I was not allowed to strike up a conversation with the cute guy in my class at college? ‘If I make the first move, I’m perceived as a crazy girl, just for going after what I want.
That’s not fair.’It is an unusually wet morning in Austin, Texas, where Bumble is based, when I meet Whitney for breakfast at a boutique hotel.
‘I can guarantee that back in the day, if a woman was left alone and she needed to eat, she would have to hunt,’ says Whitney.
‘It’s not biological imperative that says men have to ask us out, it’s social conditioning.
The app – which now boasts 12.5 million users (one million of those, and rapidly rising, in the UK) – is the brainchild of Whitney Wolfe, a 27-year-old entrepreneur.
‘I’m a very confident person, but I felt as if I was always supposed to be more submissive when it came to dating,’ says Whitney, former vice president of marketing at Tinder, where she was a co-founder.
Sean, his close friend, reportedly threatened to fire her.