Dating Service that Declined Shark Tank’s Biggest Offer to Launch in Kenya



The internet has made it easy for just about anything to become commoditized especially with the surge of the sharing economy. From Uber changing the taxi industry to AirBnB changing the hospitality segment, all traditional industries continue to face disruption. The love and romance business has not been left behind with technology making it simple to seek romance.  Last year, we told you about Tinder, a dating service that shows a user a photo of a potential mate and either swipes left (“No thanks”) or right (“I’m interested”). If both people swipe right, “It’s a match!” and the users can message each other.

Last year, on popular Television show Shark Tank, three sisters pitched their dating service, Coffee Meets Bagel. They sought $500,000 for a 5% stake in their business which culminated in a $30 Million dollar offer for the entire business from Billionaire Mark Cuban. The sisters rejected the offer from the Billionaire and left the tank without an offer. The service has since managed to grow from its 500,000 users during the show and also expanding internationally. The service is set to launch in Kenya in 2 days.

Coffee Meets Bagel launched in 2013 with an interesting twist on online dating. Rather than swiping through endless matches as though you’re playing a mobile version of ‘Hot or Not,’ Coffee Meets Bagel promised its users one potential match a day. Using Facebook, the app could sift through friends of friends to make sure these matches were somewhat relevant according to Techcrunch.  If both users liked each other, the app would then connect them in a text conversation. Coffee Meets Bagel boasts of one of the most highly educated user bases of any dating site out there with 96% of users holding at least a degree. Interestingly, one of the co-founders of the service also met their spouse on the service.

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Eric writes on business, govt policy and enterprise tech.