Mobile dating app Bae gets acquired, heads out West

Cofounder Justin Gerrard gave Fast Company the details.

Cofounders Brian and Justin Gerrard, of Bae.

(Photo by Tyler Woods)

As we recently recapped, Brooklyn is going strong with respect to funding and mergers and acquisitions.

The momentum continues into 2017. Bae, the mobile dating app focused on the African diaspora (and nominee in our Brooklyn Innovation Awards) announced its acquisition by if(we), the parent company of the social networks Tagged and Hi5, among others.

The deal, which is going down for an undisclosed amount, is what’s known as an “acquihire”: the Bae app will be absorbed into Tagged, which is pitched as a “social network for meeting new people.” Bae’s CEO, Brian Gerrard, whom we interviewed last spring, now works alongside his brother Justin on if(we)’s marketing and growth team.

https://twitter.com/Brianjgerrard/status/816770654569578496

One piece of not-so-great news: as with Geometric Intelligence‘s acquisition by Uber last month, the move comes at a loss for the local tech scene. The Gerrard brothers are now based in San Francisco, where if(we)’s headquarters are located.

Justin Gerrard recently spoke with Fast Company about the details of the company’s move. Bae’s integration into Tagged, he told the magazine, gives the app’s user base the opportunity to meet potential, er, baes from all around the globe. But it’s unclear, at least from this report, whether the focus on people of African descent — the app’s original rationale — will remain. If not, that’s a loss for Bae’s users.

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Then there’s the matter of Tagged’s standing as a relatively obscure player in the world of social media, even though it’s been around since 2004. From the Fast Company story, it sounds like the Gerrard brothers find that aspect an invigorating challenge.

“While Tagged may not be the bright and shiny new thing, we have vast knowledge of our users and what they are looking for in new dating experiences,” Justin Gerrard told the magazine.

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