Date
27 May 2017
Dawoon Kang says she has seen first-hand how hard it is for her single friends or colleagues to meet new friends. Photo:HKEJ
Dawoon Kang says she has seen first-hand how hard it is for her single friends or colleagues to meet new friends. Photo:HKEJ

How a matchmaker app made the top 10 in three months

Hong Kong people are too busy to fall in love, so New York-based online dating app Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) is targeting them in its first overseas outing.

With 10,000 registered users, the app is in the top 10 in Apple’s App Store just three months after its Hong Kong debut.

Co-founder Dawoon Kang said the app has huge potential given more than two million Hong Kong Facebook users between 21 and 35 are single.

Hongkongers also spend most of their time working, so Kang is confident there will be strong demand for some online dating help.

In the three years Kang has been working in Hong Kong, she has seen how hard it is for her single friends or colleagues to meet new friends.

That’s also part of the reason she picked Hong Kong as the first stop in CMB’s overseas expansion.

CMB’s target clients are local young professionals.

Young Hong Kong people love to communicate through Facebook, she said.

They have 768 friends on average compared with their counterparts in other places who have an average of 100, indicating the business has huge potential, Kang told the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

There are many different online dating sites in the market, so what makes the foreign matchmaker app so special?

Kang said most of these dating apps are geared toward quantity rather than quality.

Their aim is to get their users to know as many people as they can within a short period of time.

However, this model normally doesn’t work because it’s quite hard for members to further develop relationships in private.

So CMB has decided to work the other way round by focusing on quality instead.

To become a CMB member, a user has to register through a Facebook account.

The app will then analyze the user’s friend group and social circle including age group, educational background and hobbies.

Every day around noon, CMB randomly picks one of the matches and sends it to members who can then access the personal information of the recommended person for 24 hours.

In that time, they can decide to proceed or pass.

If both parties decide to go forward, the app will arrange a private online chat for seven days.

CMB was set up by three sisters from South Korea — Dawoon, Arum and Soo — in 2012.

The app was launched in New York before branching out to other big cities such as Boston and San Francisco.

CMB describes itself as “the only dating app women love”.

Last year, Time magazine mentioned it as one of “10 apps for people who want to fall in love”.

Earlier this year, venture capitalists injected US$8 million into the group, helping it expand worldwide.

CMB plans to enter markets where people are reasonably fluent in English.

After Hong Kong, Toronto will be its next stop come July.

– Contact us at [email protected]

BT/RA

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