What started as a dating app where women make the first move has expanded to an international digital platform for making friends and business connections. Bumble continues to grow and now has a new headquarters in Austin and a new networking app Bumble Bizz.
When you walk in to the Bumble HQ, known as The Hive, in Central Austin it's almost sensory overload in a good way.
Natural light fills the two story building which is awash in yellow and hexagons. That color and shape is most representative of the brand and is carried throughout the building right down to the bathrooms with their hexagon tile on the floors and walls and yellow toilet.
The Hive just opened its doors at the end of summer.
Head of Brand for Bumble Alex el-Effendi says the company is "thrilled to be located here and this big office and the ability for people from Austin to say hi and meet our team."
Bumble was launched by Whitney Wolfe who was a co-founder of the dating app Tinder. el-Effendi says Bumble has set itself apart from other apps since the beginning.
"We started as a dating app where women make the first move. So (it's) all about female empowerment and equality and kindness. Bumble is a respectful platform where people can feel safe online meeting people they don't know," el-Effendi says.
After launching less than three years ago, Bumble now has nearly 21 million users.
el-Effendi says, "Internationally we now have a footprint. We have teams in London and France and Germany and Australia. We're looking into Canada. It's been really exciting to see."
After adding a feature on the app for users to find friends called Bumble BFF, Bumble recently announced the launch of Bumble Bizz which allows users to make professional connections.
"It is one-to-one networking. We focus on connecting people. Getting your foot in the door with opportunities you wouldn't have had the chance otherwise," el-Effendi says. "The idea behind that is ending the dead end connections you tend to have on social networking sites and actually beginning a conversation that can change your life."
FOX 7's Lauren Petrowski set up a Bizz profile and almost immediately had a match. While it's not clear if it will turn into a networking opportunity, it is clear that Bumble is on a mission to help people connect all over the world and to support women in all aspects of their lives.
"We're so excited to have a safe space where women can feel empowered and invited to take control of their life," el-Effendi says.
Bumble Bizz follows the same concept as the dating portion of the app. You swipe if you're interested in someone and if it's a women to man match the woman has to be the first to send a message. If you don't reach out to a match in 24 hours the match expires.
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