Ridgefield native co-founds dating app, Fourplay, billed as social network for single friends

Photo of Alyssa Seidman

Navigating the digital dating pool is hard to do without a pandemic, but a new mobile app is helping single people catch up in more ways than one.

Fourplay, a social network for singles, allows users to team up with their friends to create a shared profile and double date other single pairs for a more fun, lower-pressure and safer way to mix and mingle.

The app was co-founded by Danielle Dietzek and Julie Griggs. Dietzek graduated from Ridgefield High School in 2009.

The founders were living together in New York City while Griggs was completing a six-week rotation there for her physician assistant’s program. Dietzek was working as a staff nurse in the maternity ward at NYU Langone at the time.

Griggs told Dietzek she wanted to take advantage of the local dating scene, but the two also wanted to hang out. To kill two birds with one stone, they created a shared profile on a well-known dating app.

“We created a profile that featured pictures of the two of us and answered all of the prompts (together),” Dietzek said. “One of the guys we went out with said we should make this an app. … ‘If you don’t do it, someone else will.’”

Griggs’ brother came up with the name Fourplay, which, when paired with the idea, seemed like a surefire hit, Dietzek said. The pair spent the bulk of 2019 building the actual product with a developer overseas, and launched it in the App Store that fall.

In February 2020, rumblings of a novel coronavirus concerned Fourplay’s managers as the founders applied to accelerator programs to locate investors.

“At that point in the startup world, there’s an expectation that you should leave your job,” Dietzek said. But because of the pandemic and the pair’s professions, “That just wasn’t an option.”

The founders instead took the year to focus on what Fourplay could be: a place where single people can be social with fellow singles, which was a previously untapped market of the online dating world, Dietzek said.

And since many spent the last two years in isolation or social distancing, Fourplay encourages like-minded individuals to connect — or reconnect — with their friends as well as potential suitors.

“During the pandemic people couldn’t see their friends and couldn’t date,” Dietzek said. The app has had a “positive response because they can do both at the same time.”

In just a year Fourplay has acquired more than 12,000 users in NYC and a 10,000-person waiting list of users from other cities looking to get in on the action. The company has started pre-seed funding to bolster the app’s infrastructure, host in-person events and eventually open in other locations.

Dietzek and Griggs will officially leave their jobs next month to manage Fourplay full-time. Those interested in contributing to its fundraising efforts can email danielle@fourplaysocial.com.

“I am so fortunate that Ridgefield is my hometown,” Dietzek said. “Classmates who I haven’t spoken to in a decade have shared my social media posts, the children I babysat have joined the app (and) neighbors have donated to my crowdfunding campaign. … This sense of community is the ultimate source of comfort.”