Austin-based Bumble, known for its female-friendly dating app, is fighting back against a lawsuit filed by Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, that accuses it of patent infringement and stealing trade secrets.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District last week, alleges that Bumble’s app is virtually identical to Tinder, which is known for its swipe right to like, swipe left to ignore feature.
Bumble posted a letter to its website on Tuesday that begins: “We swipe left on you. We swipe on your multiple attempts to buy us, copy us, and, now, to intimidate us.”
The Bumble app, which has 29 million users, functions similarly to Tinder in that users swipe left or right to indicate their preferences. The difference with Bumble is only women are allowed to start a conversation with someone on the app.
Match recently said it plans to launch its own female-first app, in a move that will likely intensify the competition between Tinder and Bumble.
Bumble was launched in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd, who is a former Tinder employee. Wolfe Herd left Tinder in 2012 after alleging sexual discrimination. The case was settled but the lawsuit detailed verbal harassment.
Last year, Forbes reported that Match, which also owns dating sites OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish, made a $450 million buyout offer for Bumble. Herd turned it down, the magazine said.
According to Forbes, Match again approached the company to discuss a valuation of well over $1 billion. Herd owns 20 percent of the company, which is expected to surpass $100 million in sales this year.
Bumble’s letter to Match makes it clear that the company has no intention of striking a deal.
“We’ll never be yours. No matter the price tag, we’ll never compromise our values,” it continues, and concludes: “We wish you the best, but consider yourselves blocked.”