In January it was reported that Tinder makes 21 million matches and processes 1.5 billion swipes every day – as of the start of this year, it had made 5 billion matches.
After Rad allegedly refused to deal with the situation, and even threatened to fire Wolfe, she resigned from the company.
The resulting legal showdown – which was played out entirely in the public eye last summer – proved nasty and malicious, bringing out the worst in Silicon Valley’s notoriously misogynist culture. “The founder of a hook-up website is claiming sexual harassment.” Wolfe’s role in setting up Tinder was called into question by Mateen and Rad, and the stream of vindictive texts Mateen had sent to her was published online.
Last year, she found herself the reluctant subject of a notably unpleasant media furore after she launched a lawsuit against Tinder – the company she had worked at as both co-founder and head of marketing for almost three years.
Her complaint was sexual harassment and discrimination against fellow co-founders, Justin Mateen and Sean Rad, alleging that when her romantic relationship with Mateen turned sour, he had sent her a stream of “horrendously sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails, and text messages”.
The first dating phone app of its kind, Tinder arrived on the scene in 2012, first in US colleges before spreading outwards, nationally and internationally, from Rome and London to Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town.
The concept itself was simple – make people’s image front and centre, emulating how we first encounter people in real life, and ensure only people who have mutually approved each other’s profiles can start chatting.
Therefore men have always been the focus, which has just perpetuated the problem.” However, the tide appears to be turning.
A new generation of app developers, many of them women, are launching a digital fightback through a wave of female-orientated dating platforms.
It’s from Otis, 27, who I have apparently just matched with on Tinder: “Hey sexy like ur curls.
Wanna come over n get naked and I’ll show you my curls.” And that was the day I deleted Tinder.
Open, warm and endearingly verbose, Wolfe becomes a closed book at the mention of Tinder: “The lawsuit was not about money, that is not what motivates me and it is not how I find fulfilment,” she says.