Shahzad Younas’s Muslim app that is dating 15,000 partners meet to get hitched. He informs Amelia Heathman about modern love
The phrase goes: ‘Muslims don’t date, we marry’,” claims Shahzad Younas, creator and CEO associated with the Muslim matching software Muzmatch. “It’s a phrase that is generalised it strikes the nail regarding the head. If I’m fulfilling a lady, we’re both reasoning, is this individual wedding product?”
Muzmatch is usually dubbed the Muslim Tinder but Younas just isn’t so pleased with the comparison. It utilizes some typical dating-app structures, such as for instance swipes and likes, but rather of concentrating on casual hook-ups it’s all about helping Muslims find anyone to marry.
Numerous Muslims are required to marry young also to some body associated with the faith that is same. Options consist of dealing with a matchmaker, which computer technology graduate Younas defines as “like getting your CV passed around” to get a proper partner. That he decided to create an app that would make the dating process more “halal” — acceptable in religious law so it was back in 2014, after hearing his friends swap stories about dating struggles.
Younas quit his work as an investment banker and invested 6 months working days that are 18-hour produce Muzmatch in the room. Half a year after introducing, the application had produced its very first wedding.
“A few got in contact to state ‘thank you, we got married as a result of your app’. I became like, OK, this genuinely is real,” he said. The outcomes talk on their own: Muzmatch has one or more . 5 million users and some 15,000 partners ‘ve got hitched after meeting upon it.
It produced title for it self outside of the Muslim community as a result of an advertisement campaign that ran in the Tube a year ago featuring Lionel Richie singing: “Halal, can it be me you’re trying to find?” with regards to rivals, the software ranks greater for downloads compared to the other religious-focused matching apps including JSwipe (Jewish) and Salt (Christian), relating to analytics business App Annie, so it’s no wonder the major relationship companies came knocking.
Younas won’t mention who, but claims he has turned them straight down everytime. “We’re for a objective to transform how Muslims across the world think of marriage, and obtain married.”
Plenty of work goes in making sure Muzmatch is a safe room for Muslims to talk and fulfill online. In 2016, the platform introduced selfie verification to make certain everyone in the application is whom they do say they’ve been. The organization features a team in Bangladesh which, alongside its HQ in Aldgate, manually moderates every profile.
Other privacy features are embedded. Users can request a chaperone be there in conversations from the software, such as for instance a relative, as per an Islamic principle that when unmarried women and men chat a party that is third show up. Users also can guarantee they’ve no profile image on the account or details such as for example their name that is full they may be as private online as you are able to. “It’s about knowing that Muslims are incredibly diverse and now we don’t wish to force individuals down a particular road. You want to end up being the space that is safe provide top-level privacy to your users,” says Younas christianmingle.
Safety is vital for any other reasons. “We get lots of EDL kinds and people that are right-wing that you great deal of abuse — putting up Bin Laden photos and all that type of stuff,” says Younas. “The positive thing is they get spotted quickly and eliminated so we can block those users in a permanent means.” From the upside, Muzmatch comes with non-Muslims registering since they are curious about the religion, such the man that is 50-plus changed into Islam after fulfilling some body regarding the application. “The human being tales can be touching. We’re trying to tread that line of being available but faithful that is equally being our community. It’s a line that is tricky walk down but We think we’ve nailed it.”
Therefore what’s next? The start-up has accomplished profitability as a result of its premium paid-for tier nevertheless the stage that is next to carry on to boost the software as well as its features, and expand the group as well as its reach. “Purely for a figures foundation, one-fifth worldwide is Muslim,” says Younas. “On top of that, we estimate there are about 400 million Muslims that are single and eligible. We have a look at that, and we’ve not even produced dent.”
To assist Muzmatch with its mission, the start-up has today announced the close of a large show A money round for $7m. Investors included respected Silicon Valley-based accelerator Y Combinator – Younas participated within the programme back 2017 – also as Luxor Capital.
“Shahzad has plainly made something that people want,” states Tim Brady, a partner at Y Combinator. “He is a resourceful creator whom happens to be hearing his users as well as in the procedure is promoting an excellent solution for the Muslim community, in a manner that main-stream businesses have actually did not do.”
Beyond bringing people together, Younas also desires to change attitudes within the Muslim world making sure that marriage is approached in a way that is modern. “My vision is the fact that whenever Muslims around the globe think of getting married Muzmatch pops into the mind — plus it is like an evident, non-taboo action to take,” he states. “I always think Muslims are five years behind the main-stream, specially when it comes down to technology. Now it is time in order for them to get caught up.”
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