A Forbes report has recently alleged that the founding partner of Bumble, an App in which Actress Priyanka Chopra has invested in, has built a culture of misogyny, sexism, drugs and racism in his parent company.
The investigation by Angel Au-Yeung has several former employees of Russian billionaire Andrey Andreev, the world’s top online dating tycoon, accusing him of encouraging a toxic work culture at his workplace.
In 2014, Andreev launched Bumble with Whitney Wolfe Herd, who previously worked at Tinder. Bumble is majority-owned by Andreev who funded Wolfe Herd and convinced her to found the dating App after she left Tinder. In October last year, it was reported that Priyanka Chopra has taken a stake in Bumble and will act as a partner, adviser and investor to the App.
Andreev owns four popular dating Apps - Badoo, Bumble, Chappy and Lumen. In its early years, Badoo had a reputation for wild parties and a former employee of the company has told Forbes that “everyone was naked and doing lines of coke, and they were sending these photos over the internal email system.”
It’s reported that the company used the names of porn stars for internal engineering updates. The report also states that former employees have said that the office behaviour was hostile and discriminatory toward women.
A former chief marketing officer of Badoo, Jessica Powell, told Forbes that she was told to act pretty for investors and make job candidates ‘horny’ to work for them. “I was once even asked to give a designer candidate a massage,” she said.
Alice Bonasio, Badoo’s former director of communications and public relations says her employment was terminated because she didn’t fit well with the company’s “patriarchal” environment. “The culture meant that for female employees to get ahead, they needed to heavily play the game,” she said.
“Playing the game, in one case, meant watching a video of an employee receiving oral sex from a prostitute. Four former employees mentioned knowledge of this video—and one of them says she watched it at the urging of co-workers,” mentions the Forbes report.
There are also allegations of racism against Andreev in the Forbes article. One of the points made in this regard is that Andreev would apparently complain if he saw too many dark faces on the App, “he believed it lowered the value of the brand and made it look cheap,” a former marketing executive is reported to have said.
While Andreev and Badoo’s spokesperson have dismissed all these allegations made by former employees in Forbes, Priyanka Chopra is yet to make a statement on the matter.