STB swipes right on Bumble app as it positions Singapore as networking hub

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has partnered with famously known social dating app, Bumble to launch the latter's "Bizz" unit in the Singapore market. Bumble Bizz is one of the three modes in the Bumble app designed for, along with Bumble Dating and Bumble BFF. The Bumble Bizz offering looks to connect professionals through networking and mentoring. It was first launched in the US in 2017 and with the help of STB, it is looking to break into the Singapore market.

Similar to Tinder's swipe right approach, individuals will be able to swipe right on profiles and make a connection. Bumble Bizz however is not a dating app, and sways towards the likes of LinkedIn, where individuals can potentially find a business partner. In addition to this launch, both STB and Bumble will also be starting the Global Connector Bee programme in Singapore. As part of this programme, two women from the US have been selected to go on an all-expenses paid trip where they then use Bumble's three modes - Date, Bizz and BFF services in their two weeks of travel.

Speaking to Marketing about this new partnership, Rachel Loh, regional director, Americas, STB said that while Bumble has been around in Singapore for some time now, this partnership allows the app to raise awareness and build its database of users from Singapore. Meanwhile, through this partnership, STB is also able to promote and market Singapore as a destination of meaningful professional connections as well.  As part of the partnership, there will also be a content push on Bumble's platforms.

Bumble has also engaged several influencers from the Asia Pacific region, to aid in promoting the Singapore launch, as well as the Global Connector Bee programme. Loh explained that with the Asia Pacific influencers and the two individuals from the Global Connector Bee programme exploring Singapore, STB will be able to carve out itineraries and work out a city guide that will be available on Bumble's platform.

In terms of the destination guide, Loh explained that it will be created from an editorial standpoint and will be promoted in app. If an individual is passing through or in Singapore for a trip, he/she will be to surf on the Bumble Bizz mode and swipe right to find out more. According to Loh, the overall ROI for this unconventional new partnership is about creating the connections with Bumble and its users. Loh was unable to share the investment amount and added the partnership is an "on-going" one.  She explained that the move is essentially tied to STB's key pillar of positioning Singapore as a leisure destination, as well as a business hub.

“Businesses continue to be a key part of our work but it is also the digital nomad movement especially from the US and around the region, such as the technopreneurs. There are people looking for like-minded business partners,” she said, adding that Bumble Bizz can aid these individuals.

Bumble first established in the US in 2014, and has now expanded into Australia and India. Prior to the launch in India in 2018, Priyanka Chopra Jonas came onboard as an investor. The app also promotes a "make the first move" approach, as in heterosexual matches, only female users can make the first contact with matched male users, while in same-sex matches either person can send a message first.