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Lagos-based dating startup Vybe recently announced that the team is currently working on launching version 2.0 of their app and plans to expand their market presence even further into Africa.
Vybe is a digital matchmaking platform that allows Africans to make true connections
The startup was founded in April 2019 by Moronke Anifowose, Adetolani Eko and Osagie Omonzokpia who identified the nuances in African dating and sought to give Africans access to dating app features that address those nuances. Africans have access to less than 40% of the top 10 dating apps in the world and generally, these platforms are too generic to solve the peculiarities of online dating in Africa.
Make connections in fun and secure ways
The team describes Vybe as an online matchmaking platform that allows Africans to make true connections in fun and secure ways. Vybe COO Anifowose says, “We have identified key differences between how Africans look for potential partners versus how it’s done in the west and we’re focused on digitising that experience.” On Vybe, users can find potential partners based on their location, intentions, interests, religious groups, ethnicity and tribe.
New app features include a subscriptions feature using mobile money transactions and newer machine learning and AI capabilities that gather data to inform the app’s matchmaking abilities.
The app has already generated over 25 000 downloads across the company’s main markets, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana, with plans to grow to up to 100 000 users by the end of 2021. The Vybe founders based the improvements to the platform on data gathered detailing how people’s dating habits have changed with the advent of the pandemic.
The pandemic has meant increased growth for the online dating industry, from Match Group (Tinder’s parent company) recording direct revenue growth of 15% in Q4 2020 to OkCupid experiencing a 700% increase in dates and Bumble’s $7-billion IPO in February this year. According to a survey by Dating.com, 82% of singles have turned to online dating since early March 2020 to improve health and wellness and 60% of those surveyed said they prefer online dating to finding a date in person.
With the launch of subscriptions the startup has seen double-digit revenue growth, month on month since February. “Another example of the uniqueness in Africa was our launch in Kenya and other parts of East Africa. The top global dating apps accessible in this part of the continent offer payments via cards and it’s funny when you consider that mobile money transactions contribute to almost 50% of the Kenyan GDP. Our reaction there was to make Mpesa the main method of subscription for our East African users and we’ve seen some interesting growth there,” shares Eko, Vybe CEO
“To address insecurity, we’ve designed unique processes that leverage AI, Machine learning and a strong community to identify and block suspicious profiles. We will continue to improve this system as we grow,” concludes Vybe CTO Omonzokpia.