Bumble Launches in India with Partner Priyanka Chopra

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Priyanka Chopra and Whitney Wolfe Herd at the launch dinner for Bumble India
Image: BFA.com/Zach Hilty

Bumble announced the launch of its female-friendly app in India with a celebrity dinner at the Gramercy Hotel in New York.

CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd joined Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, who just partnered with Bumble to bring the app to her home country. They hosted a dinner for women of Indian heritage who are at the top of their respective fields to celebrate the launch.

According to Forbes who reported on the event, attendees included Vanity Fair’s Radhika Jones, Hillary Clinton’s former political staffer Huma Abedin, Teen Vogue’s Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Saks Fifth Avenue’s Roopal Patel, fashion designer Anita Dongre, and Girls Who Code co-founder Reshma Saujani. The Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi was also in attendance.

Herd and Chopra met over a year ago, and Chopra suggested that she bring the app to India to help empower women there. And while Indian society is rapidly changing in part because of technology, old systems are still in place that might influence the app’s launch, including the tradition of arranged marriages. According to a New York Times report in 2015, almost 95% of Indian millennials preferred arranged marriages to finding their own partner.

Still, Bumble hopes to change things by giving India’s young women more power to make their own connections and develop career opportunities and friendships over the app, in addition to meeting people for dating. Herd emphasized at the dinner that the app would be launched as an all-encompassing social network, not as a dating app, aiming to reach a broader market.

Herd’s mission with Bumble is to empower women to take control of their lives by being in control of their own communication (including Bumble Bizz for career connections and Bumble BFF for forming new friendships). When women feel empowered it allows them to form healthier relationships and move forward with their goals.

“We’re entering India as a full-fledged social network,” Herd said at the dinner. “We’re going in as the empowerment platform across the board,” she added.

“I feel our philosophies as people, as women really matched,” said Chopra at the event, referring to Herd. “We both, in our own ways, try to find channels that empower other women around us. We’re privileged and our parents and upbringings allowed us to have a choice in our lives. A lot of women around the world don’t have the ability to make their choices for themselves. Bumble sort of gives women that. Whether it’s for love, whether it’s for business, whether it’s for your career or just finding relationship with friends, it gives you an entire social network made by women for everyone. I loved the idea of helping spread that throughout the world.”

For more on this dating service you can read our Bumble app review.