YORK, Pa. – Mary Richardson felt discriminated against on other dating apps for being bisexual. It influenced her to start something new. She began a free dating app for the LGBTQ+ community alongside Brandon Teller.
“We couldn’t find anything that was cheap or free to use that really felt inclusive so we decided to make it ourselves,” said Richardson.
The app is named Bindr. Richardson and Teller say that 30,000 users have signed up within the first year of its existence. Richardson is a full-time student at Penn State York, but she hasn’t faced problems in the classroom.
“Ever since starting Bindr, my grades have gotten better,” said Richardson.
Teller says he’s worked on dozens of companies, but has never seen growth like Bindr has had out of the gate.
“This is really helping people and because it’s helping people it’s so much more than just another dating app,” said Teller. “Everything we can take from this, we can give back to the community that we serve.”
Richardson is nominated for a Women in Technology Award for the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania for the Diversity and Inclusion award. She will find out this month if she is the winner.
Many people have left positive comments and have thanked Mary and Brandon for starting Bindr. However, not everyone loves it.
“We’ve gotten death threats,” said Richardson. “We’ve had people tell us to go back in the closet and what we are doing is not right.”
Teller views it as fuel to improve.
“Every time we get some kind of backlash, we love to go out and just make [Bindr] better,” said Teller.
This summer the duo went to seven pride events to spread their message and do customer discovery. Richardson wants Bindr to become a household name in the dating game. She wants to help bring people together.
“I’m not just making another dating app,” said Richardson. “I’m representing a whole group of people who don’t always have a voice.”
In November, Richardson and Teller are heading to Lisbon, Portugal for the Web Summit. It brings together over 70,000 people and companies redefining the technology industry.