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Can this new black dating app compete with Tinder?

More niche apps serving specific communities continue to emerge

new dating apps

Your race can affect your online dating success, according to a viral blog post published by OkCupid a couple years ago. Statistics show it’s especially tough for black users. Here are a few things to know about Bae, a new app specifically for black online-daters:

1. ‘If you are a black person, you see Tinder as a white app’

According to this article in Time:

Bae works pretty much like Tinder, but tailor-made for black users. The Gerrards came up with the idea after they realized how difficult it is for black singles to find dates on existing platforms.

‘If you are a black person, you see Tinder as a white app,’ says Brian. ‘Tinder isn’t calling itself the dating app for white people, but that is achieved implicitly because of the negative experience for black people.’ (Tinder spokesperson Rosette Pambakian said the dating app is among the most diverse global platforms in the world, and that ‘everyone is welcome to use Tinder.’)

2. It has to grow its user base

According to this AskMen article:

So far, Bae has around only 100,000 users, and to continue to grow it’s going to need some investments, something that’s proven difficult because investors tend to be white men who “don’t invest in ideas that don’t affect them,” said Gerrard to TIME.

“Nine times out of 10 if we’re pursuing an investor, it is likely not somebody who has experienced what it’s like to date as a black person in America,” added Gerrard.

3. ‘Everything’s going 100 miles per hour’

According to this article in Technically Brooklyn, however, Bae cofounder Brian Gerrard seemed to indicate that things are going well:

We’re almost done with the round. There’s more room left so we’re being really selective, but we’ve closed the majority of it already. It feels like in the next month we’ll be closing this one. It’s in the millions. Everything’s going 100 miles per hour.

I was just in San Francisco. Was fortunate enough to be a panelist at Facebook’s F8. Eleven months ago I was in a cubicle in New York. Now the camera is going to Mark Zuckerberg’s face and going to mine. It’s been a really incredible.

We have investors in our seed round from Lagos, Nigeria. There’s no mobile-first social experience for the black diaspora until now. Bae is that. There are 700 million people of African descent who are going to have a smartphone in the next two years.

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About Jordan Murray Jordan is a journalist who has written extensively about dating and lifestyle for multiple publications.

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