Last Updated: March 10th, 2020

Coffee Meets Bagel
Revenue, Competitors + Marketing Strategy

Coffee Meets Bagel is the anti-Tinder dating and social networking service where women have the final say in who they meet and with whom they interact on the platform. The company brands itself as an authentic, meaningful alternative to popular casual dating apps.

Led by sisters Arum Kang and Dawoon Kang, the two co-CEOs run the company out of its San Francisco headquarters. To date, the Kang sisters have done an excellent job with raising capital and amassing a dedicated user base, with over 3 million paid subscribers and total VC funding in excess of $31 million.

Coffee Meets Bagel proudly distances itself from the model of its competitors such as Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble. The company’s standout attribute is its penchant for personalization and curation.

Every day, the platform delivers a handful of curated matches to its users based on mutual interests, passions, and values. The selling point is in driving connections that last beyond the initial spark to forge long-term bonds and relationships.

What Sets It Apart

They use a proprietary algorithm to pair users with carefully selected matches every day at noon. According to the company, the algorithm is constantly undergoing updates and “evolutions” to create deeper, more intelligent matches between users on the platform.

Whereas other dating apps get a bad rep for their superficiality and surface-level depth, Coffee Meets Bagel makes a solid effort to dig deeper into the personalities of its users. For example, Coffee Meets Bagel encourages meaningful conversations by offering prompts such as “George just got back from a backpacking trip in Southeast Asia—Ask him about it!”

The app received a makeover in 2018 that introduced users to a tighter, cleaner, and more minimalistic interface centered around user’s profiles rather than their photos. Instead of basing their interface on “Like” (right swipe) and “Dislike” (left swipe) functions, Coffee Meets Bagel showcases each user’s profile text and biography which users can “Heart” or leave a comment on.

Unsure whether you want to make a connection with someone on the app? Luckily, Coffee Meets Bagel lets you break the ice by leaving a comment on a profile. This way, users can see if there’s a spark before taking the plunge and hitting the “Heart” button.

2019 Data Breach

On Valentine’s Day 2019, Coffee Meets Bagel announced that it was affected by a data breach in which over 6 million user accounts were impacted between 2017 and mid-2018. Thankfully, much of the information stolen was non-sensitive, but user names, age, and gender information were compromised.

A “Slower” Kind of Online Dating

Coffee Meets Bagel prides itself on its mature, refined take on online dating. In a market dominated by endless swiping and scrolling, Coffee Meets Bagel only delivers a select few curated picks to users every day with the intention of limiting daily screen time to five minutes or less.

The app’s proprietary algorithm analyzes who users have “liked” or passed on in the past to offer better, more accurate suggestions (what they call “bagels”). Coffee Meets Bagel offers a minimalist user experience without flashy, competing colors or design elements to help users focus on their potential match.

For those who want to browse beyond their suggested bagels, they can take advantage of the “Discover” section to check out extra nearby bagels. However, users found in the Discover section aren’t curated and may not match your preferences. Users must use “beans” (in-app currency paid for with real-world cash) to like bagels found in the Discover section.

Company Information

Coffee Meets Bagel launched in May 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts and opened its headquarters in San Francisco later that year.

Since its launch, the Coffee Meets Bagel app has facilitated over 1 million dates and, according to the company, “thousands of lasting relationships” between users. In January 2020, the app was downloaded 166,922 times.

Financials and Venture Capital

Since launching in 2012, Coffee Meets Bagel has raised $31 million in funding across multiple rounds from venture capital firms. The company’s latest funding round, which took place in May 2018, raised $12 million in Series B capital led by a privately-backed venture fund.

Prior to securing Series A and B funding, the Dawoon sisters appeared on the television show Shark Tank where they turned down the highest offer in history—$30 million from Mark Cuban to purchase the company outright.

Coffee Meets Bagel currently employs 67 individuals and garners roughly 180 thousand unique website visits per month. As of late 2018, the company generates over $900,000 in in-app revenues every month and earned over $25 million in gross revenue that year. In 2016, the app generated an average annual revenue per subscriber of $39.