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What’s the buzz around Priyanka Chopra-backed social networking platform Bumble?

Rashi Varshney
7th Dec 2018
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The US-based social networking platform for women finds its way to India. YourStory caught up with the founder, Whitney Wolfe Herd, to hear more about the company’s plans for the country.

Bumble is finally in India, thanks to actor Priyanka Chopra, whose investment and vision opened doors to the country for the platform.

Bumble Founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd with investor Priyanka Chopra at the app's launch in India
Bumble Founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd with investor Priyanka Chopra at the app's launch in India

But contrary to popular belief, Bumble is not just a dating app. At the launch in Delhi, Founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd told YourStory that it is a mission-driven social connection platform that connects people, especially women, across the most important relationships in their lives in love, friendship and business.

The for-woman, location-based application that enables dating, friend finding (Bumble BFF) and professional networking (Bumble Bizz), was officially launched in India on Thursday.

Clarifying that Tinder is not its competition, Wolfe Herd said, “We are not a dating app, we are an app with three verticals: dating, friend finding, and business networking. We allow the user to delete the dating option if they wish to. You can actually turn it into a non-dating app,” she explained.

Launched in 2014, Bumble has 50 million users in 140 countries. India is Bumble’s foray in Asia. We caught up with Wolfe Herd and Chopra’s manager Anjula Acharia, another Bumble advisor and investor, at the app launch.

Acharia noted how it was Chopra’s idea to bring Bumble to India. “Though she is more focused on the business networking vertical,” Acharia said, adding that Chopra is active on Bumble Biz and uses it to hire people.

Bumble’s India chapter had its beginnings at a dinner last year in New York that Chopra and Wolfe Herd were attending. “We have common goals and vision about the future of women. Hearing Bumble’s vision, Priyanka said that she wanted to take Bumble to India,” Wolfe Herd said.

Chopra invested an undisclosed amount in Bumble in October and has been involved in the go-to-market strategy and campaigns since. “She has a lot of inputs, she is on the calls, strategising, sharing nuances about India, its culture, and differences,” she added.

To make it India-specific, the app allows women to sign in with only their initials (for Rashi, the app shows only R). “We have built a local team for each part of the app, be it digital marketing, engineering, influencers, amongst others,” Wolfe Herd explained, on the app’s India expansion.

How does Bumble help women?

Calling Bumble the first successful technology product built for women, by women, that has reached any type of scale, Wolfe Herd said, “If you look at all the successful platforms that have come before us, they are all built by men, and the foundational vision was never around making a world a better place for women. It was around helping you get a car faster, or getting a man a date faster; it was never about the woman.”

Wolfe Herd, who is also a Tinder co-founder, added that this is why she built the app with women in mind. “I have built what I wished existed when I was a young woman. It is truly a women’s platform,” she said.

She is confident Bumble will work in India. “Humans are humans globally, and at the root of everything, the most fundamental centrepiece of our world is connection,” she said.

“The beauty of Bumble is that it allows women to have a choice over their life. It allows a woman to choose who they want their friends to be, who they want to work with, who they date, and all of its on their own terms,” she added.

 


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