Michelle Kennedy

I was formerly an M&A lawyer at leading international law firm, Mishcon de Reya. I was working frequently for one particular client (in life sciences) who asked me to go to work for them as their in-house counsel. During my time there, I received a call from one of the partners I used to work for at Mishcon who had a new client, a ‘young guy with a killer business’. That young guy was Andrey Andreev, founder of Badoo. We met, and over spaghetti carbonara, I started to learn more about the business of (then) online dating. He was funny, intriguing, and it sounded exciting (this was before tech was even a ‘thing’ in London really). I became Badoo’s in-house legal counsel, setting up the legal function, before moving to acquire other reporting lines in the business (HR, Finance, BI), and most recently becoming Deputy CEO, and working day-to-day with Andrey as his right hand. It was a gradual progression, as I started to understand the business more. I am extremely inquisitive by nature, and I suppose the more questions I asked, the more I understood and wanted to know. Working with someone like Andrey opened my eyes to moving outside of law, of the joy of understanding all of the mechanics of a company, which was so different to the legal perspective I’d had in M&A (and where you didn’t really have the opportunity to spend time understanding and watching growth).

At Badoo, as well as holding board positions throughout the group, I was responsible for key operations in the business and worked next to Andrey to identify growth opportunities for Badoo and the Badoo Group (I remain on the Badoo board). I was also integral to the launch of dating app Bumble where, I worked closely with Founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe at inception to bring it to life, and was a trusted advisor and member of the board.