Customer Story

Coffee Meets Bagel & Trace

Coffee Meets Bagel optimizes hiring and procurement workflows with Trace.

<span class="text-color-primary-blue">Coffee Meets Bagel</span> is one of the largest online dating apps in the United States. It’s also the largest independent dating app in the world. The company positions itself as the “anti-swiping” dating app and focuses on helping users create serious long-term relationships. The company, which is headquartered in San Francisco and has employees across the U.S. and Canada, caters to educated millennials between the ages of 25 and 44 who live in North America and Asia and are looking for serious partners.

The Challenge

Competing against the bigger players

The dating industry is incredibly competitive, with large, multibillion-dollar conglomerates—such as Match Group and Bumble—owning most of the platforms in the space. As an independent, venture-funded startup with limited capital, Coffee Meets Bagel needs to delicately balance its resources in such a way that enables it to invest in people while continuing to innovate its product.

As part of his charter as the company’s finance leader, CFO Quincy Yang was tasked with helping Coffee Meets Bagel scale as cost-effectively as possible, which requires efficient operational execution.  Yang explained, “We need to operate within the confines of our cash, and allocate our limited resources intelligently. So I am constantly looking for ways to improve our efficiency and workflows.”

Yang observed that the Coffee Meets Bagel team was struggling with approval workflows. When employees wanted to purchase something, there was a clear approval chain, with Yang always asking the same series of questions—something he and his team knew could be automated with the right solution. On top of this, Coffee Meets Bagel was also dealing with more than 50 vendors, which made it hard to keep all of the relevant contract information in one place. It was difficult to keep tabs on things like software expiration dates and auto-renewals, and the team risked letting renewals slip through the cracks. At the same time, the company was also looking for a solution that would enable employees to self-serve the information they needed to do their jobs — instead of asking the ops and finance teams directly.

The Solution

Automating workflows and empowering business partners

As the company continued to scale, Yang began focusing more on how to empower functional teams to make the right decisions without adding a bunch of overhead for decision-making, communication, and budgeting. After doing his due diligence and researching solutions, Yang ultimately decided on the <span class="text-color-primary-blue">Trace</span> service desk for finance. With spend management, headcount management, and business partner collaboration on one platform, Trace was uniquely positioned to help the company scale efficiently.

“Trace let us streamline and automate a couple of key workflows that before were mainly manual or nonexistent,” Yang explained. “One of the top things that attracted me to Trace was the purchase approval workflow, which made it much easier for employees to purchase new items and set up new vendors with a clear approval chain.”

Additionally, Yang was drawn to Trace’s vendor management and vendor database capabilities. Coffee Meets Bagel works with more than 50 vendors, which makes it difficult to stay on top of every contract, when they expire, and what the renewal terms are. “There’s a constant flow of questions,” Yang said. “Trace allowed us to create a single database where we could collect all that information that was easily searchable.”

“One of the top things that attracted me to Trace was the purchase approval workflow, which made it much easier for employees to purchase new items and set up new vendors with a clear approval chain.”

The Results

Increased visibility, cost savings, and efficiency

The company’s decision to invest in Trace proved to be a shrewd one. Before Trace, Coffee Meets Bagel was dealing with “death by a thousand paper-cuts” when it came to financial workflows, Yang said. “There was definitely a feeling of inefficiency.” Now, Yang believes his company is positioned to scale with confidence as it moves into the future. With Trace, Yang was able to achieve:

Streamlined hiring decisions. “It’s been a big game changer for us,” Yang said. “Trace Headcount significantly streamlined our new hire request approval process. We’ve saved at least a few hours a month on that.”

Less overhead for purchasing processes.  Closing the loop on every purchasing decision involved a lot of bureaucracy and red tape. “In order for us to not hire more ops people, we needed to find technology, workflows, and software that enabled us to handle these new activities,” Yang said. That’s exactly what they found in Trace.

Improved contract visibility and cost savings. Before, Coffee Meets Bagel was wasting money on auto-renewals they didn’t need because they lacked visibility into their contracts. Now the team has a good sense of upcoming renewals, which gives the company more leverage when it comes to procurement. “We haven’t had another example of forgetting a vendor that auto-renewed,” Yang said.

Empowered employees and improved decision-making. Without roping in finance, “employees can find information themselves to help us scale better as a company,” Yang said.  “Trace enables us to democratize financial data better than we were able to before. That leads to better decisions, faster decisions, and clearer decisions.”

Reclaimed time. For Yang, Trace’s powerful reporting and analytics features are some of the platform’s most valuable features. Instead of manually compiling budget versus actuals, Trace takes care of this core finance workflow. “I save a few hours of my time each month,” Yang said.

“Trace enables us to democratize financial data better than we were able to before ... That leads to better decisions, faster decisions, and clearer decisions.”

Conclusion

Ready for growth

With Trace, the Coffee Meets Bagel team has a powerful finance service desk that makes their financial operations more efficient and prepares the company for growth. “The best job I can do for our company is to make sure we’re able to scale appropriately in a way where we don’t have to increase general and administrative expenses as fast as we’re growing,” Yang explained. “Thanks to Trace, we get a lot more done with higher quality and fewer mistakes.”

See Trace in action.