Contributed by: ElyseRomano Monday, June 03 2019 @ 11:12 am
Bumble and Serena Williams are continuing their collaboration with joint investments in two female-led companies. At Bumble’s inaugural Bumble Fund Summit in Napa, California, the company announced that Bumble Fund and Serena Ventures will back Nude Barre and Virtue Health, the winners of an in-app pitch competition run through Bumble Bizz.
Bumble Fund launched in 2018 with a mission to support female-founded and female-led businesses with early-stage investments. The fund’s first investments included a swimwear company, a prenatal and postpartum healthcare company, a beauty festival, and two other women-focused startup funds.
The recent pitch competition received more than 1,000 applications from female entrepreneurs. Erin Carpenter was named a winner for Nude Barre[*1] , a line of eco-friendly hosiery and underwear made in 12 shades of nude to match all skin tones. Arfa Rehman won for Virtue Health[*2] , a healthcare company pioneering new technological approaches to age-related diseases.
“We aimed to redefine the pitch competition and provide a space for underrepresented women who are often overlooked in venture capital to speak freely about their ideas,” said Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd.
“Too many female entrepreneurs have grown accustomed to being silenced or hearing the word no,” said Williams. “By amplifying these voices as opposed to ignoring them, we are signifying to an entire generation of underrepresented women that their ideas should know no bounds.”
Bumble also recently announced the launch of a charitable fundraising initiative called "Moves Making Impact." Women on Bumble Date, Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF can now choose a cause to support in one of three categories (human rights, public policy or economic development). For each new conversation a user initiates, Bumble will make a donation to a woman working towards their chosen cause.
Speaking on CBS This Morning, Wolfe Herd said: “Now [women’s] first moves can go beyond themselves and impact a woman in the world, and that woman that we’re impacting is impacting women in their community, so it has this catalytic effect. We’re so excited about this. It’s rooted in everything we’ve ever stood for. It is about paying it forward and giving women the opportunity to be change-makers through their daily lives. If we’re asking you to make the first move, why would we stop at empowering you?”
Bumble partnered with Vital Voices[*3] , a non-profit organization dedicated to investing in women leaders, to identify 12 women solving problems in their communities who will benefit from “Moves Making Impact” over the course of the next year.