Nigerian startup Trueflutter, a dating and matchmaking app for people from emerging markets, is taking a locally-focused approach to its business and making over 1,000 matches each day.
Formed in 2018, Trueflutter helps people who are searching for committed relationships to find compatible partners who share similar values and backgrounds.
“We’ve observed the cultural norms that influence how people from our markets date and have translated these to features and filters on our mobile app,” Ayo Olatoye, the startup’s co-founder and chief marketing officer (CMO), told Disrupt Africa.
The idea for Trueflutter stems from frustrations Ayo and brother Dare, the startup’s chief executive officer (CEO), had when trying to use Western-built dating apps in Nigeria.
“He could recognise what was missing and since no other app had it, we decided to work together and build it for our market,” Ayo said.
A basic MVP went live in 2019 to validate the idea and business model, but Trueflutter only released its full feature platform in January 2021. The startup makes money from premium subscriptions, but is also in the process of rolling out an advertising module. Ayo explains the gap in the market it is striving to fill.
“Nigeria has over 200 million people. There is a huge socio-economic and cultural divide, and most people tend to date others from similar backgrounds. With regular dating apps, there is a painful trial and error process where you first have to match with a user before being able to detect whether or not you are from ‘the same world,” he said.
“Another major gap is the lack of security features to weed out catfishers and fraudsters. We have built a unique system that lets us detect fraudsters and ban them by device ID so they are unable to create new fake accounts from the same devices.”
Initially bootstrapped, Trueflutter took in US$160,000 in angel funding last year, which it used to build the product. Early uptake has been impressive, with Trueflutter having over 40,000 users and making an average of 1,200 matches per day. It has recorded over 300,000 unique matches, with two couples getting married and 20 engagement proposals made.
It is now seeking further funding to grow this user base, which reaches beyond Nigeria.
“We have been operating predominantly in Nigeria but have a lot of organic downloads through word of mouth from Ghana, as well as Nigerians in the UK, US and Canada. Our plans are to expand to Ghana, Kenya and South Africa,” Ayo said.