Older dating app
That the Gerrards were able to trademark a phrase as common as “bae” and sell such a simple idea illustrates just how few startups are being created for black users.“Bae” has been part of the cultural vernacular for years, especially in the black community.“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.”) Indeed, dating while black is not easy, especially on platforms largely populated by non-black users.Brian says friends have shown him screenshots of “being called a n-gger on Tinder. In San Francisco.” Phoebe Boswell, a Kenyan artist living in London, recently created an entire gallery show about the racist insults she has received on Tinder.Ten years ago, the Gerrard brothers weren’t thinking about starting a company together. Their parents, both lawyers, sent the boys to separate private schools in suburban New Jersey.According to the OKCupid analysis, 82% of non-black men on the platform exhibit some form of racial bias against black women.Read More: The problem can go far deeper than an inability to find dates.
But their oil-and-water partnership helped them create Bae, a dating app for black people.There, they both pursued fencing — Brian was ranked one of the top foil fencers in the state — and they frequently faced off against each another in tournaments, even though Justin is two years older.The brothers say their contrasting personalities have strengthened them as a team.The Gerrards have three full-time and three part-time employees.
They’re not yet making money, but they hope to do so soon, perhaps through advertising.Justin Gerrard speaks quickly, Brian Gerrard speaks slowly.