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UPDATE 1-Bumble CEO's net worth nears $2 bln as stock rallies post debut

(Adds CEO quotes)

Feb 12 (Reuters) - Bumble Inc Chief Executive Officer Whitney Wolfe Herd’s stake in the women-centric dating app operator was worth nearly $2 billion, as shares rallied for a second straight day after a blockbuster debut on Thursday.

Bumble, backed by Blackstone Group Inc, was valued at $15.69 billion on Friday, with its stock price nearly doubling from the initial public offering price of $43 per share, underscoring investor’s insatiable appetite for tech shares in a buoyant U.S. equities market.

Wolfe Herd owns 21.5 million shares in Bumble, equating to a 11.6% stake, regulatory filings showed.

With the blockbuster IPO, Wolfe Herd, 31, became the youngest female CEO to ever take a company public as she rang the opening bell from Bumble’s Austin-based offices with her one-year-old son by her side.

The women-first approach has set Bumble apart in a competitive online dating market, Wolfe Herd told Reuters on Thursday.

Bumble users are more likely to pay for premium offerings to have a deeper level of connection or a different approach to connection, said Wolfe Herd, listing offering incognito mode as a popular feature for people to browse others’ profile while being anonymous.

Wolfe Herd, who graduated with a degree in International Studies from the Southern Methodist University’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, launched the Bumble app in 2014.

Wolfe Herd is also a co-founder of rival app Tinder, which she later sued, alleging that her co-founders subjected her to sexual harassment. Tinder parent Match Group Inc, which denied the allegations, paid about $1 million to settle the dispute.

Bumble’s shares were up 13.5% in afternoon trade on Friday, after rising as much as 20.6% to $84.8 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Krystal Hu in New York; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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