Snack App’s Kim Kaplan PLUS 3 key metrics for consumer, enterprise SaaS & marketplace startups | E1195

Top Insights


“Every 8 to 10 years there’s a new dating app that kind of enters into the space and Tinder’s now nine years old. So it is the right time for that next dating app to come in and usurp them. And I fundamentally believe that’s what Snack is doing with a video-first approach.” – Kimberly Kaplan

  • Snack was created to optimize a single dating platform for Gen Z
    • What was the problem?
      • Users, especially Gen Z, would match on Bumble or Tinder and immediately move the conversation & interaction to other apps like Snap & Instagram
      • On those platforms, users would reply to each others’ stories and casually flirt, rather than carrying on in a more high-pressure DM conversation on the dating apps
  • Learning different lessons from different Match.com properties:
    • Tinder: design-driven
    • Match: marketing-driven
    • Plenty of Fish: data-driven”Match has done a phenomenal job at working with different companies and acquiring different companies.” – Kimberly Kaplan
  • It has been significantly easier to raise capital for Snack post-Bumble’s IPO.
    • A sector can become stale to investors, especially after being burned repeatedly.
    • Proof of a publicly traded challenger company makes picturing startups’ success easier.

Ask Jason


From TWiST Slack member Alan from (msb.ai):

Aside from a PR news wire or DIY PR methods, how else can a company with over $1M in revenue let people in VC know about us?

Jason’s Answer:

  • Celebrate your wins, write a short blog post when you hit milestones (300-500 words).
  • Content Marketing on Twitter, LinkedIn (social media), start following VCs and engage with them. Host conversations where you can share your expertise.
  • Run targeted promotions of your best blog posts to VCs and like-minded individuals.
  • Send monthly updates to non-investors.

From Jacob:

As a new investor – what key metric would you look for in these 3 different types of startups: consumer subscriptions, marketplaces, b2b saas?

  • Consumer Subscriptions (Calm, Netflix, Spotify)
    • What is the user profile of your top users, and what is the retention and churn like for those top-tier users?
    • Customer acquisition cost
  • Marketplaces (UberEats, Doordash, Zillow)
    • Frequency of use (transactions per customer)
  • Bottom-up Enterprise SaaS
    • Land-and-expand, or net dollar retention (NDR)
    • NDR measures impact on revenue generation from existing customers
    • If your net dollar retention is over 100%…
      • It means your startup will grow revenue only from its existing customer base, without needing to acquire any new customers
      • It also means you have achieved net negative churn:
        • which is when revenue gained from existing accounts exceeds revenue lost from churned accounts – (see David Sacks on churn)
        • an example would be: more existing Slack customers expand from free to paid accounts then churn or downgrade from paid to free
        • According to David Sacks, the master of bottom-up SaaS, this is a great signal for your B2B company

Kimberly Kaplan


  • CEO & Co-Founder, The Snack App (Nov 2019-Present), launched in 2021
  • Website: https://www.thesnackapp.com
  • Funding
  • Formerly worked at Plenty of Fish (2009-2018)
    • Started as VP Marketing & Advertising (3rd person at company)
    • Became VP Product Management, Revenue Optimization & Marketing
    • Grew Daily Active Users (DAUs) from 1M to over 4M and Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) from $10M to over $100M
    • sold to Match Group for $575M in 2015

The Snack App


“You shouldn’t have to date across two platforms. That’s why we built Snack to pull the best of the two together.” -Kim Kaplan

  • A video-first dating app that asks users to create a video and post it to a feed.
  • Users can scroll through a feed (like Instagram) and when someone likes a video, it opens up the ability to comment.
  • Once two users have liked each others’ videos, DMs are open.
  • She reached out to a Gen Z focus group to name the app and come up with the logo. Snack is a Gen Z term for cute/attractive.
  • Snack is not a static app where you update 5 photos. Snack has more dynamic profiles to show off and interact.

How Kim got the idea


  • Saw that people were trying to date on TikTok (making a video with bio about themselves), 13B views of #single on TikTok
  • Users, especially Gen Z, would match on Bumble or Tinder and immediately move the conversation & interaction to other social media like Snap & Instagram
  • On social, users would reply to each others’ stories and more casually flirt, rather than carrying on in a more high-pressure DM conversation on the dating apps

Dynamics of modern Dating Apps


  • Snack app is breaking out the gender categories to better reflect society.
  • Snack is looking more toward social media instead of what the legacy dating apps are doing.
  • Most dating apps are now using a freemium model where people can pay more to get more features or matches.
  • Match.com is the dominant company in the dating apps space:
    • 10.9M average subscribers
    • $2.4B in revenue
    • Brands include: Tinder, Hinge, Match, Meetic, Pairs, BLK, Plenty of Fish, OurTime, Upward, and Chispa
  • Bumble has been a strong competitor and allowed more investor confidence for dating apps challenging Match’s dominance.
  • Kim learned from each different portfolio company in Match.com
    • Tinder: design-driven
    • Match: marketing-driven
    • Plenty of Fish: data-driven
  • Facebook is a massive channel for dating app acquisition
  • Apple is stingy about dating app approvals, Kim had to pull strings to get it approved. Apple has a high quality bar for these apps.

Startup vs. Large company


  • In the early days of Plenty of Fish “we could sit around a table and drink wine in the afternoon because there were only 6 of us.”
  • There are clear changes in how an organization feels at 30, 60 and 90 employees.

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