Shahzad Younas’s Muslim app that is dating 15,000 partners meet and acquire hitched. He informs Amelia Heathman about contemporary love
The phrase goes: ‘Muslims don’t date, we marry’,” claims Shahzad Younas, creator and CEO of this Muslim matching software Muzmatch. “It’s a generalised phrase but it strikes the nail from the mind. If I’m meeting a lady, we’re both reasoning, is this individual wedding product?”
Muzmatch is oftentimes dubbed the Muslim Tinder but Younas just isn’t therefore satisfied with the contrast. It makes use of some typical dating-app structures, such as for instance swipes and likes, but rather of centering on casual hook-ups it’s all about helping Muslims find you to definitely marry.
Numerous Muslims are required to marry young also to some body of this exact same faith. Choices include working together with a matchmaker, which computer science graduate Younas describes as “like getting your CV passed around” to get a partner that is appropriate. 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 their job as a good investment banker and spent half a year working days that are 18-hour produce Muzmatch inside the bedroom. 6 months after introducing, the software had produced its very very first wedding.
“A few got in touch to express ‘thank you, we got married due to your app’. I became like, OK, this might be real,” he said. The outcome talk on their own: Muzmatch has multiple . 5 million users plus some 15,000 couples ‘ve got hitched after fulfilling about it.
It produced title it me you’re looking for? for it self outside of the Muslim community because of an advertising campaign that went in the Tube this past year featuring Lionel Richie singing: “Halal, is” with regards to rivals, the software ranks greater for downloads compared to the other religious-focused matching apps including JSwipe (Jewish) and Salt (Christian), based on analytics business App Annie, so it’s no wonder the big dating organizations attended knocking.
Younas won’t mention who, but states he has turned them straight down everytime. “We’re on a objective to transform how Muslims across the world think of marriage, and acquire married.”
Lots of work switches into making sure Muzmatch is really a space that is safe Muslims to talk and satisfy on the web. In 2016, the working platform introduced selfie verification to make sure everybody from the software is who they do say they have been. The organization possesses group 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 application, such as for example a member of family, as per an Islamic principle that after unmarried gents and ladies chat a alternative party christian mingles should be there. Users may also guarantee they’ve no profile image on their account or details such as for example their name that is full they may be as private online as you can. “It’s about comprehending that Muslims are incredibly diverse and we don’t desire to force individuals down a specific road. You want to function as the space that is safe offer top-level privacy to your users,” says Younas.
Security is vital for any other reasons. “We get lots of EDL kinds and Right-wing individuals providing that you great deal of abuse — putting up Bin Laden photos and all sorts of that style 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 interested in the faith, such the 50-plus guy whom changed into Islam after fulfilling somebody from the software. “The human being tales can be pressing. We’re wanting to tread that type of being available but equally being faithful to our community. It’s a line that is tricky walk down but I think we’ve nailed it.”
Therefore what’s next? The start-up has achieved profitability because of its premium paid-for tier however the stage that is next to keep to boost the application and its particular features, and expand the group as well as its reach. “Purely on a figures foundation, one-fifth around the globe is Muslim,” says Younas. “On top of this, we estimate there are about 400 million Muslims who will be single and qualified. We have a look at that, and we’ve not produced dent.”
The start-up has today announced the close of a big Series A funding round for $7m to help Muzmatch in its mission. Investors included respected Silicon accelerator that is valley-based Combinator – Younas participated when you look at the programme back 2017 – also as Luxor Capital.
“Shahzad has demonstrably made a thing that individuals want,” claims Tim Brady, someone at Y Combinator. “He is just a founder that is resourceful happens to be hearing their users plus in the procedure has developed a great solution for the Muslim community, in a fashion that conventional companies have actually didn’t do.”
Beyond bringing people together, Younas additionally really wants to alter attitudes within the Muslim world in order for marriage is approached in a contemporary means. “My vision is whenever Muslims around the globe think about engaged and getting married Muzmatch pops into the mind — and it also is like an evident, non-taboo action to take,” he states. “I always think Muslims are five years behind the main-stream, particularly when it comes down to technology. Now it is time in order for them to get up.”
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