"So there’s really no generational wealth to rely on." That means black entrepreneurs rely heavily on investors even for the earliest rounds of funding, which can be challenging given that most tech investors are white men."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," Brian says.
Almost every black entrepreneur faces this challenge.
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.
If you met them separately, you would never guess they were brothers.But their oil-and-water partnership helped them create Bae, a dating app for black people.Non-black people aren't prevented from signing up for Bae, as the app doesn't ask your race when you create an account.But the idea is to create an app for black people to safely meet people of all races who want to form a genuine connection."It's shocking that there's a dating app for people who like bacon, there's one for burrito lovers, for Jewish folks, for Asians, there’s Hinge and Bumble, but nobody wanted to solve this problem," Brian says. People don’t think about solving problems that don’t affect them, and investors don’t invest in ideas that don’t affect them."Indeed, funding is one of the biggest obstacles facing many entrepreneurs of color.In addition to this, we offer you advanced filters to make sure you only receive the messages you want to receive.
As a result, we are matching hundreds of thousands of people every day, in over 200 countries and in 38 languages.
Now the brothers Gerrard are both applying their skills toward Bae.
The operation is based in Brian's small apartment in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, where basketballs roll around in the living room and old record covers hang on the wall.
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.
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.