Hi Dare, what’s your background, and what are you currently working on?
My name is Dare Olatoye. I am the CEO and Co Founder of TrueFlutter. TrueFlutter is a match making app and we launched this about two years ago. We first started with the MVP three years ago just to test the market, and we launched the new app about year ago. And here we are now. TrueFlutter is the number one dating app in Nigeria. In regards the number and in regards so many matrixes.
We’ve had nine (9) weddings at TrueFlutter and still counting. I’d say TrueFlutter is a dating app for serious minded people looking for genuine and committed relationships.
What problem are you exactly solving with Trueflutter?
We are solving the problem of Singleness, Loneliness, Depression. If you can solve the question of singleness, you can eliminate those other things when someone is not single. There are millions of people that are single. I’m sure everyone has at least five people that are single that are looking for genuine relationships. You can tell from people that are using the app whether engaged or married. It’s a problem that needs attention.
What are some of the challenges you faced while building Trueflutter?
Well, It was a new job for me when I started , I just thought that we will just build something and the app will keep running for the rest of its life and we don’t have to do maintenance.
But building the app made me knew that I need to get the best hands on deck. When we started the major issue was getting the right people to build what we actually wanted and it took a lot of time to get the right team to work with us.
Right now we have the best team ever but it took us a while before we could get this people. Some people tend to dump some certain products because its giving them a lot of stress especially when you have customer feedback with a lot of complains.
I learnt something from Elon Musk when he launched PayPal, he had so many complains, he told his team to gather all the complains and just fix it. So that was the mind set I had when I started because there were so many complaints then and we are still fixing. Being able to weather the storm and being able to build something that is very impressive takes a lot of time and patience. You have to have a thick skin as an entrepreneur because at a point in time there will be a lot of things you have to fix and you have to be very objective about it. You also have to be pragmatic while fixing your products and you have to be very timely as well.
How do you feel receiving a lot of success stories from people who are using your app?
It’s a good feeling. It’s a good feeling in the sense that we actually set up the platform for that purpose. We set up the platform with the goal to be the best dating platform in Africa and also with the goal to connect as many people as possible. So, yeah I felt really good when I heard of the story and I’m expecting more stories, it is a way of building the company and also a way of adding value to humanity while you are rendering the service.
How are you able to get these success stories. Do you track users conversations?
We can’t track people’s conversation because that’s very unethical. What they do is that they tell us themselves if they’re engaged or married. So they basically share their stories with us.
One of the problems with dating startups is actually verifying people who have registered. So, how have you been able to solve that?
We have few things on our platforms that solve that problem to some extent.
We have Security features. Since we launched our dating app we’ve deactivated over 1,000 subscribers for different reasons. Like some being married, or people looking for just hookups and all of that. So we’ve been able to deactivate so many. But going forward, we are launching a security feature in the next few weeks, and it is the same security feature that banks use to verify certain users and subscribers.
We want to make sure that the data are safeguarded and our subscribers are safeguarded. We have the voice and video call functionality which is free. So what I always tell people is that when you’re on the app always calls the person on the app just to verify the persons face to know if the person is actually who they say they are.
Was Trueflutter your first attempt at starting a business?
I won’t say it was my first attempt at starting a business. I was in the oil and gas sector for like some years. So, I’d say it was my company and I did that for couple of years. I learnt how to trade and got to know the dynamics of the downstream sector. I did very well in that industry. I’d say that was my first time of venturing into the entrepreneurial space before I started TrueFlutter.
Why then did you leave the Oil and Gas sector. Did your business fail?
Not at all. I stopped the downstream sector as a result of starting TrueFlutter and I knew that it would have been very difficult to divide my attention into like two different businesses that was why I focused on one. People know me that when they offer other jobs to me, I decline those kinds of jobs because I don’t like being distracted from what I’m doing in my company. So, my oil and gas business didn’t fail, I just put a stop to it because I started this, and everything was just me reflecting on myself, reflecting on life, reflecting on the gifts I felt I had and never utilized those gifts and that was why I moved into something I felt that I have a lot of passion for and I knew that come sun, come rain I’d still be doing what I’m doing now.
When you first started Trueflutter, did you nursed any fear of failure?
I think a lot of people will say that I am stubborn and some will say that I am driven. People have different takes on me as a person. I could be stubborn and I could be driven, I don’t believe in failure.
That reflects on who I am as a person. When I started TrueFlutter I could be at the radio station at 2am in the morning just trying to promote my platform. You know that most of these love stories on radio stations are always at night, around 12am or 1am in the morning.
That is when most of the listeners listen to love stories. I was always that kind of guy that would drive to the radio station because of the love of TrueFlutter and the love of just trying to connect people. I didn’t have any fear In failure even some of my friends told me that I was crazy, they were asking questions like, are you sure?, will this thing work?. And me as a person I knew something that there was a problem and I needed to create a solution and I knew TrueFlutter was the solution.
I knew that it would take a lot of efforts to make sure to put myself out there and for people to know my company. I never thought for one second that TrueFlutter would fail because there’s a problem and I am here creating a solution and every successful entrepreneur knows that they’re creating a solution to a problem and they know that as long as there’s demand for that thing, there will always be supply.
What advice do you have for Entrepreneurs out there who are getting started?
The number one advice is; Stay grounded as a founder, you know where you’re going to as a founder of a company. Be very strategic about how you grow your company.
There’s something called Bootstrapping, make sure your business is self sustaining without external factors. It’s very important because I’ve seen it these days when a lot of people loose their head when they feel like they’ve gotten to a certain level and they just start misbehaving. So, Know where you’re going to. You’re raising a baby, you know the funds you need to invest in that baby, you know when you need to just hold back a bit because you know when your baby is growing, you know what you want your baby to accomplish.
Your company is your baby, know what you need to invest in. Make sure you pamper your baby and make it grow the way you want it to grow. It takes a lot of efforts and sacrifice, it takes a lot of you being grounded and being an entrepreneur.
Refer us to some of your Learning Resources Like Books, Videos or Podcast.
My Mentors are founders and people that are older than me in the space.
Learn from people that are older than you in the space, it doesn’t have to be reading books it could also be learning from people who have like 30years or 40years experience in the industry you’re in. let them show you the way and tell you the things not to do. Sometimes I don’t read books, sometimes I just read articles that older people sent to me, articles on different stories of startups and anything related to my space and helping the growth of my company. Last week I watched the interview of the owner of BetterHalf. BetterHalf is a dating app based in India and when I watched that interview I learned a lot about what we could do as a company to be able to even be better than BetterHalf. Those guys are doing a phenomenal job , it’s a fantastic dating app and I learnt just by watching the podcast. Some people don’t like reading, some people like listening. For those that like listening you can listen to Podcast, you can just go to YouTube and learn from founders that are already existing in the space.
What are your plans for TrueFlutter in this new year?
TrueFlutter is definitely going to be apart with other dating apps because what we are building is really solid because we put Africa into consideration when it comes to optimizing the algorithm and machinery, and being able to give it better match as an app.
So there are lot of things we are doing now as a company and we are launching in few weeks . TrueFlutter will definitely be a household name and we are very optimistic about the numbers. So we know we are going to grow like 3X the number we have now and we are definitely going to be a household name and that is what we are striving to be as a company this year.
We want to be in different parts of Africa and also grow as a company. Most importantly we want to connect as many people as possible.