Shahzad Younas’s Muslim dating application aided 15,000 couples meet and obtain hitched. He informs Amelia Heathman about modern love
The expression goes: ‘Muslims don’t date, we marry’,” claims Shahzad Younas, creator and CEO of this Muslim matching software Muzmatch. “It’s a generalised expression but it strikes the nail in the mind. If I’m fulfilling a woman, we’re both reasoning, is this person wedding material?”
Muzmatch is frequently dubbed the Muslim Tinder but Younas isn’t therefore happy with the comparison. It utilizes some typical dating-app structures, such as for instance swipes and likes, but rather of centering on casual hook-ups it’s all about assisting Muslims find you to definitely marry.
Numerous Muslims are required to marry young and also to some body regarding the faith that is same. Choices include using the services of a matchmaker, which computer technology graduate Younas describes as “like getting your CV passed around” to locate a proper partner. So that it ended up being back in 2014, after hearing their buddies swap tales about dating struggles, which he made a decision to produce an software that will make the dating process more “halal” — acceptable in religious legislation.
Younas quit their task as a good investment banker and invested 6 months working 18-hour times to produce Muzmatch in their bed room. Half a year after starting, the application had produced its very very first wedding.
“A few got in contact to state ‘thank you, we got hitched as a result of your app’. I became like, OK, that is real,” he said. The outcome talk on their own: Muzmatch has one or more . 5 million people plus some 15,000 partners have hitched after meeting onto it.
It produced title it me you’re searching for? for itself outside of the Muslim community because of an advertising campaign that ran in the Tube this past year featuring Lionel Richie singing: “Halal, is” In terms of rivals, the software ranks higher for packages compared to other religious-focused matching apps including JSwipe (Jewish) and Salt (Christian), in accordance with analytics company App Annie, so it’s no wonder the big relationship organizations came knocking.
Younas won’t mention who, but states 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 certain Muzmatch is really a space that is safe Muslims to chat and fulfill on line. In 2016, the working platform introduced selfie verification to make sure everybody on the software is whom they do say they’ve been. The organization possesses united 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 whenever unmarried women and men chat a alternative party should show up. Users may also guarantee they’ve no profile image on the account or details such as for instance their name that is full they could be as personal online as you can. “It’s about comprehending that Muslims are incredibly diverse therefore we don’t would you like to force individuals down a road that is particular. You want to end up being the space that is safe offer top-level privacy to the users,” says Younas.
Safety is vital for any other reasons. “We get lots of EDL types and Right-wing people offering you plenty of abuse — putting up Bin Laden photos and all that type of stuff,” claims Younas. “The positive thing is they get spotted quickly and removed and we also can block those users in a permanent means.” In the upside, Muzmatch comes with non-Muslims signing up since they’re interested in the faith, such the man that is 50-plus transformed into Islam after fulfilling some body from the application. “The individual stories can be pressing. We’re wanting to tread that type of being available but faithful that is equally being our community. It’s a tricky line to walk down but We think we’ve nailed it.”
So what’s next? The start-up has accomplished profitability as a result of its premium paid-for tier however the next phase is to carry on to enhance the software and its own features, and expand the group and its own reach. “Purely on a figures foundation, one-fifth worldwide is Muslim,” claims Younas. “On top of the, we estimate there are about 400 million Muslims that are single and qualified. We have a look at that, and we’ve not really produced dent.”
To greatly help Muzmatch with its objective, the start-up has now announced the close of a huge show A capital round for $7m. Investors included respected Silicon accelerator that is valley-based Combinator – Younas participated within 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 really a resourceful creator whom happens to be hearing their users plus in the method is promoting an excellent service for the Muslim community, in a manner that main-stream organizations have actually neglected to do.”
Beyond bringing individuals together, Younas additionally wants to change attitudes into the Muslim world to ensure marriage is approached in a way that is modern. “My vision is the fact that when Muslims across the world think about engaged and getting married Muzmatch pops into the mind — and it also feels as though a clear, non-taboo action to take,” he states. “I always think Muslims are five years behind the conventional, specially when it comes down to technology. Now it is time to allow them to get up.”
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