The sisters who made a global dating app

Meet your match on Coffee Meets Bagel.

Coffee Meets Bagel Dating App

Dating App for Real Connection


People love to dream about love, not because it’s magical, but because it can be elusive. Our busy lives make finding a partner that much trickier. Today, we talked to the women who decided to tackle the problem and make sure everyone gets a shot at finding the one.

The Kang sisters Soo, Arum and Dawoon emigrated to the United States when they were in their teens. After finishing school, they had each been chasing their careers and dreams when they came together in New York with a shared goal to change people’s lives. In 2012, the three sisters released an innovative dating app to the world that meets the needs of both men and women.

Coffee Meets Bagel produces one perfect match per day via its particular algorithm. We talked to Dawoon Kang, one of the co-founders of the app, about the app development process and the dynamics of dating.

A dating app for women, made by women

Currently, the company is run by twins Dawoon and Arum, but in the beginning, all three sisters worked together to develop the app.

What or who inspired you to start your own business?
Our parents were both entrepreneurs. My dad worked with my uncle and that inspired us to also start a business as a family.

The sisters have been tight for years. But back in the day, nobody knew they’d make dating-app history.
We had our moments of ups and downs (catfight!) but it’s been amazing to work with people you love and trust the most in the world. It allowed us to move really fast as we had deep trust in each other to do the right things.

– Arum Kang, Coffee Meets Bagel co-CEO

What were the issues you discovered with other dating services at the time?
Men and women have very different approaches to dating, and most services were very obviously catered towards men. When we looked into the industry more, we learned that it has always had difficulty recruiting and retaining women.

The gender ratio of users has been composed of 65 per cent men and 35 per cent women. Things become even more lopsided when you consider the activity level of men and women: men are typically twice as active as women on a dating app. This creates a suboptimal experience for everyone.

Women are frustrated because they are overwhelmed and men are frustrated because they don’t hear back when they initiate a chat. We decided to create a brand and service that women can get behind, so that we could provide a more balanced and optimised experience for both sides.

Among dating app users, 65 per cent are men and 35 per cent are women.

How did you come up with the name of the app?
Coffee Meets Bagel started out in New York City, so the name is an homage to that beginning. Originally, the idea was to deliver a bagel to one’s love interest at noon every day. We asked ourselves, “what goes with bagels?” The answer was coffee!

Dawoon and Arum Kang, who somehow turned an ordinary breakfast meal into shorthand for love.
People you meet here aren’t all going to be your soulmates. You may not keep in touch with a lot of them long-term. However, each connection and interaction can still be treated with respect and curiosity and a desire to get to know the other person.

– Arum Kang

Can you tell us about your algorithm?
I can tell you that it is really complicated and takes into consideration a ton of factors! For instance, it tracks not only what you say you want and who you pass or like, but also the dynamics of the pool in your area (the number of people available in your city, for example), the type of people other folks are looking for etc. How much one is liked or passed is also a factor.

The goal of our algorithm is not to get you the most “likes” or to get you to like loads of people. It’s to get you to have the most real connections; meaning connections where you end up chatting.

Don’t lose the momentum. Don’t take too long to respond or to arrange a date with someone you are interested in.

– Soo Kang, Coffee Meets Bagel co-founder

Interesting facts according to Coffee Meets Bagel

There are more male users than female users in Hong Kong. It’s the opposite scenario in Washington DC.
The city with the greatest number of “likes” in the world is Tokyo, while the city with the pickiest users is Singapore. Hong Kong seems to have the most active and talkative users.
A recent survey found that users in the US place importance in the political orientation of potential partners.

Goals for Coffee Meets Bagel

What advice can you offer to other startups by women?
Don’t dwell on anything that doesn’t move you towards your goal. This includes your own voice in your head telling you that you can’t do it or that you don’t know how.

Next, share your vision and ideas frequently. You never know who can help. Go for a big ask.

Finally, seek knowledge. Read voraciously. Continue to upgrade yourself. When you are 10 times better than others at generating results, no one can argue with you.

We want to show women that startups and entrepreneurship are not necessarily limited to male counterparts. If we can succeed, we can be testimony for other women to be empowered and feel confident about joining the competition.

We hope that the connections that you make on CMB will contribute something meaningful to life, whether it’s because you had a great conversation with someone, or went on a great date, or you are now in a long-term relationship.

– Dawoon Kang, Coffee Meets Bagel co-CEO

If you’ve been dreaming about love, then now is the perfect time to start a fresh search. Make your first match on the path to love with Coffee Meets Bagel.

    Coffee Meets Bagel Dating App

    Dating App for Real Connection