Coffee Meets Bagel Secures $7.8 Million in Funding

Coffee Meets Bagel
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Coffee Meets Bagel has been overshadowed by its more aggressive competitors (like Tinder), but lately has emerged as a serious, lasting contender in the dating app space. The company is showing its app has real growth potential by securing $7.8 million in a Series A financing round led by existing investor DCM Ventures. Quest Ventures and Azure Capital also participated in the round.

This round of financing is followed by the steadily growing success of an app whose founders like to take things slowly, testing what works in each market (starting with its launch in 2012 to New York and Boston markets) before moving on to the next. Recently, the company expanded from an iPhone-only app to include an Android app as well, opening markets further.

Coffee Meets Bagel sets itself apart by making the dating app experience feel more personal. People are connected through their social networks – through mutual friends on Facebook, for instance – so there is a level of assurance that you can avoid the scammers and fake profiles. Also, CMB users receive only one match per day, avoiding the whole Tinder hook-up potential. Each day, users have 24 hours to message their match, and then a week to set up a date before they vanish into the ethers. The point is to keep the conversation going, instead of just letting messages and matches accumulate while users see who else is out there.

While the design is game-like (you can get “coffee beans” by providing information or referring friends to the service, which in turn can be used to access additional features, like the ability to see who your mutual friends are, or to rekindle the flame with a match you neglected to message in time.) The company also teamed up in certain cities with local businesses to offer discounts to places you could go for a first date, although the growth of the app nation-wide has prevented them from doing this in more than a few major cities.

The additional funding will pay for engineers and developers to help build the core business so it can handle the projected growth in users. While the company hasn’t publicly shared their subscriber figures lately, the interest from investors is telling.

CMB has been compared to dating app Hinge and Are You Interested, which also focus on matches based on mutual social media connections.

The additional financing follows the company’s earlier participation in the TV series “Shark Tank,” where the founders proposed their business plans to celebrity investors in the hopes of gaining additional funding. While they didn’t get it from the TV show’s panel of judges, they have been successful in raising the funds elsewhere.