A lot can happen over a cup of coffee. Take for instance, CoffeeMug, an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered 1:1 professional networking platform enabling seamless networking for professionals, investors, and business leaders in the startup ecosystem. Founded in February 2020 by Dipti Tandon, founder of Jeevansathi.com and Magicbricks, and Abhishek Sharma, a seasoned entrepreneur, this is a video-first global platform of senior professionals that helps them connect 1:1, virtually, or over coffee, thus building a powerful, long-lasting relationship. This Singapore-based firm has seen 50,000 people joining the platform within a few months of its inception. Currently, the platform is adding over 15,000 members every month to its community.
“In my experience of over two decades while working in the internet economy, there is one thing that I have witnessed and experienced multiple times—meeting the right people at the right time can prove to be a massive game-changer in one’s professional journey,” says Sharma. “I also observed that there was a pattern to it. Most of these chance meetings happened one-on-one, mostly in an informal and easy-going setting like in a coffee shop or at someone’s place. Imagine, what if Jobs hadn’t met Wozniak? Apple wouldn’t have existed at all. This posed the question – ‘What if we could make this happen at a global scale?’, that’s how the idea of Coffee Mug was born,” he reveals.
CoffeeMug’s journey, so far, has shown a lot of promise. “So far, we have also set up over 1,20,000 meaningful 1:1 connections, with over 6000 members signing up for weekly meetings. We’re looking at a growth of over 25% month-of-month,” says Tandon.
CoffeeMug plans to have more than 1,00,000 members by the end of this year. “While we’ve already established our presence in more than 70 cities across 10 countries, we want to become even more prominent on a global level in the coming year. We are planning to expand its base across South East Asia and the US by the end of this year,” says Sharma, adding, “We’ve also seen multiple case studies where our members found jobs, co-founders, raised money—– all on our platform. We first met our investors on CoffeeMug, so we are proud to say that we’ve personally tasted success through our platform.”
CoffeeMug has raised $6,25,000 in its pre-seed round led by Paradigm Shift Capital and AngelList India. This funding round has seen participation from marquee angel investors in India, including Archana Priyadarshni, IIM Indore Alumni Angel Fund, Yagnesh Sanghrajka, and Alok Bajpai. “We plan to use these funds to accelerate the efforts to refine CoffeeMug’s AI-based matchmaking algorithm, double its existing user base of 50,000 globally, and connect the members with genuine business opportunities,” says Tandon.
The two co-founders have a series of plans they wish to put into action. “We will continue to invest in our AI-based technology stack and refine our matchmaking algorithm to make it better and more targeted in the months to come.” By the end of this year, they aim to double the member base and have more than 100,000 members on the platform. “Even though we’re already present in over 10 countries, our target is to go global in the months to come. Plus, we want to unlock real business opportunities and ease the process of hiring, partnering, mentoring, and investing verticals for our members,” they inform.