You may know Coffee Meets Bagel as the company that turned down the largest offer in Shark Tank history.
For those of you keeping score, that would be a mind-blowing $30 million from Mark Cuban.
Entrepreneurs and sisters Arum, Dawoon, and Soo Kang came to the tank seeking $500,000 for 5 percent of Coffee Meets Bagel, a dating service that uses Facebook profile info to make matches between friends of friends. Without flinching, they rejected Cuban's $30 million offer on the grounds that they saw CMB growing as big as Match, a billion-dollar business.
Anyone else wiping sweat off their foreheads just thinking about that?
CMB went on to close a $7.8 million series A financing round earlier this year, and has now started its international expansion with Hong Kong. The sisters chose Hong Kong for their international launch due to “the highly social nature of life in this city,” they told Forbes, “coupled with the fact that people are often time poor thanks to long work hours.”
Dawoon Kang lived in HK for three years while working at J.P. Morgan, so she's well-versed in the city's dating scene. “Hong Kong is a very young, vibrant city full of ambitious singles in their 20s and 30s who are eager to meet new people but have very little time for it,” she explains. Coffee Meets Bagel was designed for exactly that market of busy young professionals, making Hong Kong an ideal choice for expansion.
Dawoon says the service has achieved consistent 20 percent week on week growth since launch, primarily driven by Facebook. Hong Kong members have a substantial number of Facebook friends – nearly 8 times the worldwide standards – resulting in each Hong Kong Coffee Meets Bagel member having around 48 Facebook friends who also use the app. CMB is primed for success in its new home.
The Kang sisters have noticed differences in the way Hong Kong members and US members use the app. Dawoon says: “On average, 72 percent of Hong Kong members log in every day to check their Bagel. Of these, 77 percent are connecting on an iPhone. They log in 4.3 times a day (33 percent higher than US members) and spend a total of 7.7 minutes a day (117 percent higher than US members).”
On the other hand, the gender ratio is similar in HK, NYC, and Washington DC (62 percent of members in Hong Kong are female). Academic achievements are also similar, with 98 percent of membership in both HK and the US boasting bachelors degrees.
From here, the Kangs plan to continue their international expansion, perhaps one day to their birth country of South Korea.