BRIGHT CLASS: A journey to launching a exclusive dating app in Japan

Kagayaki "Kaga" Kawabata
4 min readAug 7, 2018



BRIGHT CLASS is a dating app for busy professional looking for a serious relationship. This article will show my lean startup journey I went through with my team of 3 to launch the app.

It took us 2 months to conceptualize, validate and launch the app.

My main roles within the team: Conceptualization, UX design, and Logo design.

Problem & Hypothesis

Back in 2015, a dating app was still considered an impure way to meet people in Japan. On the other hand, in the States meeting with people online was already a popular way to find a potential partner. Some dating app started to appear in Japan as well, but it was still considered a weird way of meeting people. Seeing such situation I decided to launch a dating app that will alter the dirty image.

Lean canvas

Created lean canvas to have understanding of our potential users, possible solutions and business model.

User Interviews

Interviewed with over 30 singles to find out how people perceive dating app and what kind of psychological barriers the users have when using it.

User Persona (Early Adaptors)

Based on the interview we’ve created several personas for both men and women with following profile: Busy young professionals in mid-20s looking for a serious relationship. Throughout our interview process, we refined the persona several times.


Through the interview, we learned that majority of people hesitate to use dating app since they can’t trust others’ profile.

We decided to build an app targeted to a busy young professional that has following features that makes the dating app appear more reliable.

  • Exclusive to users working at a company with an average salary of over 50K.
  • Ask for a picture of business card when registering to make sure that person work at the company they declare.
  • Only introduce 10 person a day so the users can focus on people’s profile rather than the picture.

Idea validation & Solution interview

Created a simple landing page and profile page to validate the idea.

We interviewed random people in the Cafe that fits our persona to see what they think about our app.

Web Development & Design

After receiving positive feedbacks from more than 80% of users, we created a prototype using sketch, ionic framework, ruby on rails, and firebase.

App Store

Design Sprint

To validate our solution we asked our friends to use our app. We interviewed 5 of them and conducted a design sprint to brush up our UI/UX.

Growth Marketing

After refining UI/UX we added a viral feature where user receive free trial for a week if they bring in a friend, ran paid advertisement and started to generate video content on social media to attain users. The app was introduced in several blogs as trending dating app in Japan.

Through our approach, we attained over 3000 users where more than 8% of them became paid users.

The app was in the market for about 6 months. I closed the app since I joined Coincheck the cryptocurrency exchange.


Agile process of launching a service from scratch was a great learning experience.

This experience made me love building things even more, making myself build a career in the startup scene.




Kagayaki "Kaga" Kawabata

Product Designer @Tradecraft | Advisor @Coincheck | Entrepreneur | Investor | Crypto Enthusiast |