Coffee Meets Bagel brings the honey and the bees will come

Entrepreneurs are Innovators - While engineers invent, entrepreneurs innovate. This is a Spark Launchpad series that showcase business strategies that helps an idea stands out and differentiate from the incumbent, enhancing competitiveness and improving scalability. Instead of competing on who has a larger pool of users, Coffee Meets Bagel focuses on the ladies.


Not everybody meets their life partners during school days and not everyone finds their love at first sight, or meet the right one instantly.


As an entrepreneur, how would you solve the challenge of helping singles find their soulmates?

  1. Find singles,

  2. Showcase their profile,

  3. Allow interaction, and

  4. Happily-ever-after?

Business schools say "Focus On the Customer". Most would define the customer segment as "Singles seeking love/relationships/companionship/lifelong partner" and many more variations. The business model can be further simplified by equating the customer as your user.


In the saturated market of dating platforms, instead of competing on who has a larger pool of users, Coffee meets Bagel (CMB) focuses on the ladies. CMB compete by offering a better experience to female users prioritising quality over quantity.


Founders of Coffee Meets Bagel - The Kang Sisters, Dawoon, Arum, and Soo Kang


While developing their business concept, CMB realises that on average, there are 3 men to 2 women on dating platforms. And men are twice as active on dating app initiating 75% of interaction on such platforms. This leads to a poor experience for female users. CMB further learnt that ladies prefer better quality over quantity.


As such, CMB features an interface that emphasis on user profile; more text over the picture. Users are prompted to start a conversation based on what they've read. Allowing commenting on profile further help initiate a conversation about the profile, rather than simply "hi".


CMB also feature a sophisticated recommendation engine that suggests a handful of best matches daily rather than an endless list of profiles.


Coffee meets Bagel helps create meaningful connections by focusing on the user experience of ladies. Today, they are among the top platforms with the highest percentage of paying users.

Source: HBR Alumni Perspective, Pumchanut, Mar 2018.



Darwin Kang, co-founder of Coffee Meets Bagel explains how they do things differently.

  1. Constantly talking to customers, understanding their motivation and pains (experience) helps CMB identify problems to resolve and build better products

  2. CMB could rapidly iterate on design with user validation

  3. Find the smartest people and empower them to play to their strength

  4. Ask for help


Entrepreneurs are Innovators - While engineers invent, entrepreneurs innovate. This is a Spark Launchpad series that showcase business strategies that helps an idea stands out and differentiate from the incumbent, enhancing competitiveness and improving scalability. Have a story to share, post them here - https://www.sparklaunchpad.sg/forum/entrepreneurs-are-innovators


References:

  1. "How did a small player such as Coffee Meets Bagel manage to compete and win market share from a $3 billion market leader Tinder?", Harvard Business School Student Perspectives, Pumchanut, Mar 2018

  2. "Coffee meets bagel goes anti-Tinder with a redesign focused on profiles, conversations", Dec 2018, Techcrunch.com

  3. "Founder of multimillion-dollar dating app Coffee Meets Bagel: 'Being an immigrant had a huge impact on my identity", May 2021, CNBC.

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