Sharmistha Dubey: The Woman Behind Tinder's Billion-Dollar Success

Sharmistha Dubey, CEO of Match Group, proves that a deep understanding of human nature and a technical background can together create a revolutionary force in the world of online dating.

Sharmistha Dubey: The Woman Behind Tinder's Billion-Dollar Success

Monday July 17, 2023,

2 min Read

Meet Sharmistha ‘Shar’ Dubey, a woman who broke through Silicon Valley's glass ceiling and rose to become the CEO of Match Group, a 40-billion-dollar titan that houses popular dating apps like, Tinder, OkCupid, and Hinge. The engineer who transformed the landscape of online dating to a vibrant global empire hails from Jamshedpur, India. Shar earned the accolade of "Tech Leader of the Year" at Vogue Women of The Year 2021, a testament to her visionary leadership.

Driven by social anxiety in her early life, Shar developed a profound ability to understand human behavior, a skill that became the cornerstone of her success. Working with anthropologists and research scientists at Match, she leveraged her unique insights into human interactions to reinvent the online dating game.

Shar’s journey, from an introverted girl in Jamshedpur in the '70s and '80s, to being the only female student in her IIT class with Sundar Pichai, the current Google CEO, is nothing short of inspiring. Later, she worked her way to the top echelons of Match, starting as the director of product for Chemistry, a start-up within Match in 2006.

Dubey’s groundbreaking idea of the ‘Likes You’ feature in 2017 led to Tinder's skyrocketing popularity. By playing into our inherent desire to be liked, this feature offered users the chance to see who liked them before swiping, transforming Tinder into a billion-dollar company almost overnight. This visionary idea reflects Dubey's acute understanding of the human condition and her exceptional ability to translate that understanding into successful product strategies.

As the CEO of Match Group, Shar found herself steering a ship into the turbulent seas of the pandemic. In the face of declining user metrics, she acted swiftly, pivoting to video features and products. Shar’s foresight to employ video technology for dating made geography irrelevant, and led to an explosion in user engagement levels, particularly among women. Match Group ended the pandemic year with a 17% revenue spike, thanks to her nimble leadership.

Shar’s story is one of a woman who used her personal adversities to fuel a global success story. The ‘boss of romance’ transformed her social anxieties into a deep understanding of human connections, and used her technical prowess to build a multi-billion dollar empire. Sharmistha Dubey is proof that when kindness, generosity, and a deep understanding of human nature meet technical acumen, the result can be revolutionary.