Ethiopian-Eritrean Diaspora Dating App Reaches 50K Users


Jebena is an Ethiopian-Eritrean diaspora-focused dating app. It was launched in April 2020 and has acquired 50,000 users, and over 115,000 matches have been made on the platform in its 1-year run.

Jebena is founded by a team of young Ethiopian & Eritrean diasporas passionate about product development and creating solutions for Ethiopian-Eritrean diasporas and Africans. Being diasporas themselves, the team faced challenges meeting new people from their culture.“You had to go to a wedding or graduation ceremony to meet someone new from your culture,” said Henok, one of the co-founders of Jebena.

According to the founders, Jebena aims to build a safe mingling and dating platform for Ethiopian and Eritrean diasporas. “What we want to do with Jebena is provide millennials a platform to expand their social network so that they can meet new people who are elsewhere in their state, province, or in a different country.”, Henok told Shega.

To mingle on Jebena, interested users will have to download the Jebena App from the Play Store or App Store and create a profile. On Jebena, users can put a list of their favorite musicians and shows to give their viewers a glimpse of their personality.

Jebena has a like and heart features users can use to express their interest in an individual. Like buttons are free to give but “hearting” someone is a premium feature unlocked once you pay.

On Jebena, if someone you liked likes your profile back, then you are matched. You can inbox them for free. Users can buy hearts and unlock more likes from the Jebena Wallet.

To ensure everyone on Jebena is authentic and to avoid catfishing, the developers have placed a system that checks the quality of profiles to make sure people are using their real pictures. “People tend to be on their best behavior when they use their real pictures,” Henok said.

In addition, the app has a reporting feature. If a user comes across a profile that is inappropriate or is being harassed by another user, they can report and the Jebena team will handle the reports. Jebena also has a block feature that instantly removes a user from a users’ matches list and inbox.

The fact that Jebena doesn’t limit interaction among users based on their distance(radius) from each other is what differentiates it from similar dating platforms.

Jebena plans to be a platform that normalizes online dating in the Ethiopian-Eritrean community. Henok said, “The millennial generation is used to doing a lot of things online, why not meeting new people and building meaningful relationships.


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