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What do you get when three high-achieving sisters go into business together?
Arum Kang, Dawoon Kang and Soo Kang — graduates of Harvard, Stanford and Parsons School of Design in New York, respectively — launched Coffee Meets Bagel, a potentially game changing dating app that has reportedly made more than 25 million connections that have led to more than 20,000 relationships and 200 plus engagements/marriages in the three years since its launch.
And their plan for world domination of the digital dating scene just got a step closer to reality with its Canada-wide launch on Aug. Their female-centric approach to dating coupled with a proprietary algorithm so impressed billionaire investor Mark Cuban, he offered them US million for the business, which has yet to make a profit, when the sisters appeared on Shark Tank this past January.
They quickly turned him down largely because they are that convinced they can grow their 22-person San Francisco-based startup to a billion-dollar business.
“We turned down Mark Cuban because we are just scratching the surface,” Dawoon Kang said. Kang points to Sydney, Australia and Toronto — among the first foreign markets Coffee Meets Bagel expanded into after launching in New York in 2012.
“We believe we have the team and the model to grow this company big or bigger than Match.com, which generates about billion in revenue right now. Statistics Canada data shows 14.2 million Canadians were single in 2014.
Selling at US million would be selling ourselves short.” Consider the online dating landscape: 2014 was the first year in U. history when there were more single adults than married ones. Research firm IBISWorld indicates the dating services industry in Canada is expected to grow 6.2 per cent a year for the next 10 years.
In February, after turning down Cuban, the sisters raised US.8 million in a series A round led by DCM Capital.
Namely, the number of daily log-ins and how often users check the app, both of which she says are well above the industry average although she is keeping the exact numbers quiet. The Coffee Meets Bagel algorithm is based on users’ social networks and analyzes education, religion and ethnicity preferences, common interests and the number of mutual friends you have.Another attractive distinction: unlike traditional online dating services, which are largely designed by men and typically attract 65 per cent men and 35 per cent women, Coffee Meets Bagel is nearly the exact opposite, attracting and retaining 60 per cent women and 40 per cent men. If you share a friend with someone, you are almost 40 per cent more likely to be matched with them.For example, the average Toronto Coffee Meets Bagel member has 532 friends on Facebook (the global average is 200).They also have 12 other Facebook friends who are also using Coffee Meets Bagel.“When you download the app, you’ll be asked for certain Facebook information,” Kang said.
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“This speeds up the creation of your profile on the app and provides access to your social network to give you better matches.