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MCS’ Steve Thomas Examines Dating App Feud in DCEO Magazine Legal Analysis

DCEO magazine contributor and MCS shareholder Steve Thomas’ feature article in the publication’s July edition takes a close look at a bitter and personal rivalry unfolding between Texas-based online dating app startups Tinder and Bumble, which  has spun off lawsuits, merger negotiations and a very public airing of accusations.

In “Tinder vs. Bumble, a Texas Showdown Takes Shape,” Thomas chronicles the rise of Dallas-based Tinder and the high-octane business and personal dynamics between the app’s young founders, which led to a sexual harassment lawsuit and cofounder Whitney Wolfe-Herd’s break from the company.

Thomas writes: Despite vowing to stay out of the match-making business … Wolfe struck a deal with Russian billionaire Andrey Andreev—founder of Badoo, the largest dating site in the world, with 360 million users in 190 countries—to back her in building a new dating app that functioned much like Tinder but with one special tweak: Women have control. After a heterosexual match, only the woman could contact the man. That new app was Bumble. It went live in December 2014, garnered over 100,000 downloads in its first month, and has been voraciously gobbling Tinder market share ever since.

The Tinder-Bumble rivalry culminated following a series of acquisition overtures by Tinder that reportedly reached $1 billion in late 2017. When the negotiations broke down, the litigation quickly followed, along with a series of full-page ads by Bumble taking aim at Tinder vowing, “We swipe left on your attempted scare tactics, and your assumption that a baseless lawsuit would intimidate us.”

The article appears in the July edition of DCEO and can be found here.