Giving users more to swipe about than merely romance fits nicely with Bumble’s feminist founding mission.
But this approach also taps into a critical cultural zeitgeist as women push back against the subtle and overt harassment they face in business.
Following an ugly breakup with cofounder Justin Mateen, Wolfe brought a sexual harassment suit against her former colleagues, accusing them of discrimination and stripping her of her cofounder title—claims Tinder called unfounded.
Now Bumble is betting that its matchmaking technology can do more than foster romantic or personal connections.
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 concept of Bizz is a relatively easy sell for current users: Set up a discrete profile for networking, all while continuing under the principle that anyone can match, but women alone can initiate contact.
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.