TECH CRUNCH - July 26 - Muzmatch, a matchmaking app for Muslims, has just raised a $7M Series A. The app has now ~1.5M users, across 210 countries. The funding will help fuel growth in key international markets, is jointly led by US hedge fund Luxor Capital, and Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator - the latter having previously selected Muzmatch for its summer 2017 batch of startups. Last year the team also took in a $1.75M seed. The team has grown from four people seven months ago to 17 now. With the Series A the plan is to further expand headcount to almost 30. Muzmatch was already profitable two years ago.
This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.com
STANDARD.CO.UK - July 25 - Muslim dating app Muzmatch helped 15K couples meet and get married. Muzmatch is often dubbed the Muslim Tinder but the app's founder and CEO, Shahzad Younas, is not so happy with the comparison. "Muslims don't date, we marry," he says. Younas quit his job as an investment banker and spent six months working 18-hour days to create Muzmatch in his bedroom. Six months after launching, the app had produced its first marriage. Today, Muzmatch has 1.5M members. The start-up has achieved profitability thanks to its premium paid-for tier but the next stage is to continue to improve the app and its features, and expand the team and its reach. The start-up has today announced the close of Series A funding round for $7m. Investors included respected Silicon Valley-based accelerator Y Combinator and Luxor Capital.
This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.com
THE AGE - May 11 - Muzmatch was developed and launched by former London banker Shahzad Younas in 2015. Billed as "Where Single Muslims Meet", Muzmatch offers greater privacy and accuracy protections on photos, filters out foul language and anti-Muslim comments, and even offers a "chaperone" option - users can nominate a parent or other person to monitor conversations. The app claims ~1M members worldwide and has led to weddings in 190 different countries between 25K people.
CNET - Apr 10 - More Muslims than ever are turning to apps like Minder and Muzmatch to find romance. "We're the generation that was born with the rise of technology and social media," says Mariam Bahawdory, founder of Muslim dating app Eshq, which, similar to Bumble, allows women to make the first move. "Online dating is generally viewed by some as desperate. But as more people sign up for these apps, that notion is being challenged," says Muzmatch CEO and founder Shahzad Younas. Minder, which launched in 2015, has had ~500K sign-ups. Haroon Mokhtarzada, the CEO, says he was inspired to create the app after meeting several "well educated, highly eligible" Muslim women who struggled to find the right guy to marry. Muzmatch was founded in 2015, and it reached a million members this year.
THE NATIONAL - Apr 4 - Since the matrimonial app for Muslims, Veil, launched on March 18, co-founder Adam Ward admits he's been amazed by the response it has received. At least 100 new users sign up every day. Veil is very discreet and respectful, with images of users kept anonymous until they match with the intention of getting married. There are at least two other apps created solely for Muslims, Muzmatch, which has close to one million users, and Minder. However, while Muzmatch gives users the option to hide or display images, Veil is the first app to introduce what Ward calls a "digital veil", an opaque filter that's applied to all profile pictures to hide the identity of users until a match is mutually made. It's also the first app of its kind to be based in Dubai, with a second office in London.
BBC - Mar 25 - Shahzad Younas is the founder and CEO of Muslim dating site and app Muzmatch. Two years ago, Shahzad was in San Fran pitching Muzmatch at a global competition to win backing from prestigious Silicon Valley investment firm Y Combinator. He opened his address to the room by saying: "Muslims don't date, we marry." Y Combinator offers financial and practical support to a number of new start-ups per year. ~13K applied at the same time as Muzmatch, and it was one of 800 whose founders were invited to pitch in person. Muzmatch was given $1.5M (£1.2M), one of 100 start-ups that got backing in 2017. Today the fast-growing company says it currently has ~1M registered users across the UK and other countries. With a second office in Bangladesh, Muzmatch operates a "freemium" business model. It is free to use its basic service, but users can pay ~£10 a month for extra features such as unlimited viewing of profiles, and having their profile seen by more people. The company says its annual turnover is now~£4.5M.
BUSINESS INSIDER - Jan 14 - Dating app Muzmatch claims ~1M users. Founded by an ex-Morgan Stanley banker, the app caters to Muslims who are looking to find a partner to marry. Muzmatch is mostly popular in Britain, the US and Canada. Shahzad Younas left his job as banker in June 2014 to learn how to build apps after he had the idea for the company. In April 2015, initially using almost $200K of his own savings, he launched the first version of the app from home, and grew it to 50K users around the world in less than a year. He met iOS engineer Ryan Brodie in April 2016. The pair revamped and relaunched the company in August 2016. In summer 2017, the duo raised ~$2M in seed investment. By halfway through 2018, they had 500K registered users. Muzmatch claims to be the only one in the world with a chaperon feature, which allows a friend or relative to be present in a chat. "There's an Islamic principle where when a guy and a girl are getting to know each other there should be a third party present," Younas says. "For some users it's important – if it didn't have that feature, they wouldn't use it." In October 2018, it launched ads on the London Underground with catchy phrases such as "Halal, is it me you're looking for?" It launched a second campaign in January with similarly tongue-in-cheek taglines.
CAMPAIGNLIVE.CO.UK - Sep 7 - Muslim dating site Muzmatch makes reference to well-known hits from Lionel Richie and Adele in its display campaign. With a six-figure media spend, it is running on the London Underground and on buses in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
SLATOR - June 13 - Former investment banker Shahzad Younas and tech entrepreneur Ryan Brodie have raised $1.75M in seed investment for a business idea that has quickly caught on among young Muslims in 190 countries. Muzmatch now has ~500K users in the English speaking world, and is now ready to take the business global. On June 14, 2018, in time for the celebration of Eid al Fitr or the end of the Ramadan, the company is launching the service internationally in 12 languages - French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, Turkish, Bengali, Farsi, Urdu, Hindi, Indonesian and Malay. Younas revealed that localizing the app was no walk in the park. "Firstly, we had some technical work to undertake – namely extracting out every text/string from both our server-side code as well as the individual app codes – both on iOS and Android. Once done we aggregated this into a spreadsheet, and then began the task of seeking translators for each language," he said. There was also no technology deployed to the translation process and the team relied only on Google Sheets.
BDAILY NEWS - May 29 - Muzmatch, the London-based company has confirmed plans to expand internationally and add 12 languages. Set up in 2015 by former investment banker Shahzad Younas and tech entrepreneur Ryan Brodie, Muzmatch is already used by over 500K English speakers in 190 countries. Muzmatch raised a $1.75M seed investment in January and has backing from Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator and Hambro Perks. Muzmatch will launch the new app internationally in time for the Muslim festival of Eid al Fitr on June 14.
THE NATIONAL - Apr 16 - There are "enormous" money-making opportunities in online dating, says Victor Anthony, managing director of Internet and media at Aegis Capital. "Players with scale will continue to dominate the market, but there are also opportunities for niche operators to compete as well." One such niche operator is Muzmatch, a dating app for Muslims based in Aldgate, central London. The company was set up four years ago by Shahzad Younas, a former investment banker at Morgan Stanley, and software engineer Ryan Brodie, with the aim of helping young professional Muslims find partners within the community. It is backed by Hambro Perks, a venture firm co-founded by City veteran Rupert Hambro and former investment banker Dominic Perks, which backs British businesses with global ambitions. In January, Muzmatch raised £1.5M to expand internationally. Joining is free, but users can opt for a premium subscription which costs £19.99.
STANDARD.CO.UK - Jan 30 - Muzmatch, a dating app for Muslims, has raised from a clutch of investors to expand overseas and grow the team. The three-year-old company, based in Aldgate, central London, was set up by Shahzad Younas, 33, an ex-investment banker for Morgan Stanley, and Ryan Brodie, 24, a software engineer. Users can choose not to show photos on their profiles or blur them. It also has a chaperoning option, whereby the in-app chats are sent to a guardian.
This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.
TECH CRUNCH - Aug 3 - Muzmatch's dating app might look best described as a 'Tinder for Muslims' but co-founders Shahzad Younas and Ryan Brodie argue that Muzmatch is for people who are looking for a partner in order to get married. Two years after the launch of the first version of the app, Muzmatch has ~200k users, and is growing ~10%, month on month, according to the co-founders. The founders say the app has led to ~6k couples getting together so far. All users have to take a selfie via the app so their profile can be manually verified to help boost trust and keep out spammers. Users are also asked to rate others they have interacted with to promote positive behaviors.