Coffee Meets Bagel: Daily Deals Meets Dating Site

Coffee Meets Bagel
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A new couple is on the scene, but is it a match made in heaven?

The couple in question is the dating site and the daily deals site, which have come together as a new dating service called Coffee Meets Bagel (launched April 17 in New York). Arum Kang, founder and Harvard Business School graduate (along with her 2 sisters Dawoon and Soo), was inspired by three goals:

  • Make online dating easier, because meeting new people doesn't have to be awkward or complicated.
  • Make online dating less random, because your friends are the best way to vet your dates.
  • Make online dating more private, because your dating life isn't anyone's business but your own.

Out of those objectives, Coffee Meets Bagel was born. The service takes the static profiles, matching algorithms, rating systems, random searching, and copy/pasted messages out of online dating by blending traditional dating services with the daily deal business model. Rather than searching through a database of potential dates, Coffee Meets Bagel users receive one date per day, delivered directly to their inboxes at noon on the dot. Simplicity? Check.

Coffee Meets Bagel matches users with friends of friends by linking through Facebook authentication, eliminating the worries of meeting strangers and - hopefully - increasing the quality of the dates you're matched with. "Make online dating less random?" Check.

After receiving the daily email, users can review their match's photos and basic profile information (like age, employment, and astrological sign), then "Like" the match or "Pass" on it. If you "Pass," you're asked to leave feedback for the person you passed on and the process begins again the following day. If you "Like" the match, you'll be set up with a private phone line for 7 days, which can be used to set up an in-person meetup. Give users stronger safety measures and increased privacy? Check.

On top of those basic features, Coffee Meets Bagel also includes elements of online shopping and gamification in the service. Users can accumulate "coffee beans" by performing certain actions, like leaving feedback for vetoed dates and referring new members. Those coffee beans can then be redeemed for products, beverages, events, and more.

And it gets even better. If you decide to take the plunge and go on a date, Coffee Meets Bagel will hook you up with free gifts, like champagne, chocolate, and oysters, at some of the city's hottest date spots. So far the service is only available in NYC, but Coffee Meets Bagel plans to expand their reach as soon as they receive 1,000 emails from users in a city who are interested in the service.