Lagos-based dating app Vybe has built a user base 10,000-strong across 65 countries since its launch in April of last year.
Touting itself as a dating app designed by Africans, for Africans, Vybe was launched to help users “find love in fun and secure ways”.
Adetolani Eko, Vybe’s co-founder, said the team – also comprised of fellow co-founders Moronke Anifowose and Osagie Omonzokpia – decided to build the app after noticing there was no dating or matchmaking platform that properly addressed the issues and peculiarities of dating in Africa.
“For us, Vybe is about the proper inclusion and representation of Africans in the global online dating and matchmaking industry. Africans currently have access to less than 40 per cent of the top 10 dating platforms in the world, and this has limited their options for finding connections online,” Eko said.
“The platforms that are accessible to Africans have little or no presence in the continent and provide no support for African tailored options and features that can improve the online dating experience.”
On Vybe, users can find matches based on location, age, intentions, tribe, religion, and so on. Users can also find a match just by shaking their phone, or “vybing”.
“To tackle insecurity, we leverage a combination of AI algorithms, routine checks, and our community to identify and eliminate fake users,” Eko said.
Frankly, people quite like it. Since launching 15 months ago, it has built a user base of over 10,000, with these users spread across 65 different countries. It is available in English and French, while Vybe – at least pre-COVID – also hosts offline speed-dating events.
Self-funded thus far, Vybe is currently raising its first funding round, involving what Eko said are some “notable” African and international VCs. Cash will be used to boost its marketing efforts, but Vybe has seen plenty of organic growth.
“We currently have a three-to-five per cent weekly growth rate, and this has increased with the lockdown and restriction of movement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has also increased the demand to attend our monthly virtual dating sessions,” Eko said.
“Our plan for the next year is to strengthen our user base in Nigeria and make more direct expansion into other parts of West Africa.”
Vybe is currently pre-revenue, but plans to monetise via advertising and charging a monthly fee to give users access to premium features.