Wendy Tan was born in Salford, Lancashire, England. Her father is a Burmese emigre and her mother a native of Sarawak, Malaysia. The family moved several times to accommodate her father's work in IT, residing in Cumbernauld, Scotland, and in Reading, where her mother also worked in IT.
Tan earned her bachelor of engineering degree in computer science at Imperial College London in 1992. In 2008 she earned a master's degree in Future Textile Design at Central Saint Martins.
Tan began her career as a tax analyst at Arthur Andersen from 1992 to 1994. She then became a project manager at AIT Plc from 1994 to 1997. She next worked as head of CRM development for Egg Banking, the first Internet bank, from 1997 to 1999.
In January 2000, she, Eirik Pettersen, and Joe White launched Moonfruit, a DIY website builder. The company experienced rapid growth, with 400,000 users signing on in the first six months. The business' lack of scalability, combined with the dot-com crash in 2000, caused it to fail. Tan and Pettersen trimmed the staff from 60 employees to just the two of them, Moonfruit's co-founder and Tan's future husband Joe White chose to take one for the team and resigned to work at McKinsey & Co. They also switched from an advertiser-supported service to a subscription-based service. By 2004 the company achieved profitability.
From 2004 to 2008 Tan White took a break from the company to start a family, and Joe White returned to the business to take her place as CEO. During her time away from Moonfruit, Tan White earned her master's degree in textile design, launched the Zopa peer-to-peer lending website, and worked as marketing director at Gandi.
In 2012 Moonfruit was acquired by Yell Group for £23 million. Tan White stayed on as CEO while White is the chief operating officer and chief financial officer, and Pettersen is the chief technology officer.
Tan White is an advocate for women entering the IT field. Moonfruit accommodates employees who are mothers with scheduling such as "a later start to accommodate the school run, or flexi-home working".
She is a mentor for 500 Startups, for the Astia Women Entrepreneur's Programme, and for Entrepreneur First.
In 2015 Tan White joined the board of TechCity UK. She is also a member of the Imperial College London Industrial Liaison board.
In 2015 Tan White was named one of the Fifty Most Inspiring Women in European Tech by the Inspiring Fifty organisation. In July 2015 Tan White and Joe White were ranked 5th on Business Insider India's list of the "13 Coolest Power Couples in London".
In 2013 Computer Weekly named Tan White a "Rising Star" as part of their "Most Influential Women in UK IT" campaign.
In 2011 she was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the CWT Everywoman in Technology Awards.
Tan White was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to technology businesses.
She married her co-partner, Joe White, in 2002. They have one son and one daughter called Isabella white and Joshua white. The family resides in West London."Entrepreneurialism Isn't Just a Man's World". HuffPost. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
"'Geeky and not for girls': Technology's big image problem". The Guardian. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2015.