The Startup That Turned Down $30 Million from Mark Cuban
Business + Economy

The Startup That Turned Down $30 Million from Mark Cuban


For singles experiencing swipe-fatigue, Coffee Meets Bagel might just be the answer to your dating blues.

The dating app could be considered the “Anti-Tinder”, as it delivers a single match every day at noon, using algorithms that match singles with mutual friends on Facebook. Founders and sisters Dawoon, Arum and Soo Kang turned down a $30 million buy-out offer from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank in January, the largest offer made in the show’s history to date.

Related: Mark Cuban Tells Millennials Clothes, Cars Don’t Matter​

Here’s how it works: Users gets a single match or “bagel” every day at noon, with 24 hours to accept or decline. The dating app is free for users. Premium users, who pay up to $24.99 for various add-ons, have the option to view more than one match per day, and to accept a previously rejected match. The $10 “Open Sesame” option lets singles see who their mutual friends are.

Coffee Meets Bagel says it already has over 21 million users, mostly in their 20s and 30s, in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Hong Kong. It launched in Sydney last month. So far Coffee Meets Bagel claims about 10,000 couples and 120 marriages have resulted from their service. (The sisters keep a bell in the San Francisco office, which is rung every time a couple gets engaged or married.)

On February 18, the company announced it had closed $7.8 million in Series A funding led by DCM Ventures. (’s Peng Ong was an early investor.) This year, CMB hopes to reach profitability and add 4 million more users.

An estimated 50 million Americans have signed up for online dating in the past three years. Approximately 70 percent of people on online dating sites are men. According to Dawoon Kang, men enjoy browsing photos of women and see it as entertaining; women don’t like being looked at, or swiping, nearly as much. Coffee Meets Bagel is female-friendly — and it’s being tested by two of the sisters themselves, one a Stanford MBA and the other a Harvard Business grad.

Related: 10 Best Cities to Start a Business​​​

CMB is hoping to create more competition for dating sites like those owned by Internet heavyweight IAC, which operates, Tinder, and

January is usually the most popular month for online dating, but the summer could just be heating up.

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