In 2012, Dawoon Kang and her sister launched Coffee Meets Bagel, a dating app designed to empower women and help individuals find meaningful connections.
Many are familiar with Coffee Meets Bagel because of Shark Tank, where Kang and her sister famously turned down a $30 million offer for their company in 2015. Dedicated to growing their business, the co-founders and co-CEOs have continued to develop Coffee Meets Bagel, which claims one of the highest ratio of female members and has facilitated more than 2.5 billion introductions for singles around the world.
“Every day at noon, Coffee Meets Bagel only shows women the profiles of men who have ‘liked’ them first, giving women the final say on who gets to talk to them,” Kang explained in an interview with MissBish. “This model also saves ladies time, and allows them to focus on men who are genuinely interested in connecting.”
She expressed that she and her sister wanted to disrupt the dating category with their vision for Coffee Meets Bagel, adding that the app is designed to empower women to “take control of their dating destiny.”
In 2018, she told BusinessBecause that there’s a lot of exhaustion and frustration with modern dating.
“I think it’s become really complicated,” she said. “I’m interested in using Coffee Meets Bagel as a vehicle to change the conversation; to get this generation to share and connect more authentically.”
According to BusinessBecause, Kang is committed to using her position as a female entrepreneur in the tech industry to advance female representation in the male-dominated field.
She shared a memory of taking computer science class in college and feeling like she didn’t belong.
“I struggled and I immediately thought; I’m not good at this,” she said. “I think if there had been more women represented in the class, I wouldn’t have jumped to the same conclusions so quickly.”
According to Kang, it makes a huge difference when young people see representation of their own kind in a particular industry. To the co-founder and co-CEO, equality means getting everyone represented at the table.
As she has watched Coffee Meets Bagel grow over the past few years, Kang told MissBish that she has developed a greater understanding, patience, and appreciation for humanity.
“I’ve learned that in our hearts, we all desire the same thing – to love and be loved,” Kang said. “To trust and to be trusted. To feel fulfilled by making a positive mark in the world. To be given a second chance. To grow.”
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