Startup of the week:
Who they are: Muzmatch
What they do: They make a dating app that helps Muslims around the world find other Muslims with similar values.
Why it’s cool: Casual dating isn’t really a thing in traditional Muslim culture, says Muzmatch’s Muslim co-founder, Shahzad Younas. Instead, if you’re a young person, your family typically takes on the responsibility of finding you not just a significant other, but a potential spouse. And it’s not always an easy task to find someone who matches your cultural and religious values — especially in today’s world, where Muslims are scattered in communities across the globe.
That’s where Muzmatch comes in, Younas says. The app is where old-school values meet modern technology. Members use it to identify people who share their values — for example, members can specify on their profile how often they pray, or whether they wear a headscarf. And they can do it in a traditional way. Women can choose someone, typically a family member, to act as a chaperone or “Wali,” who oversees all conversations between the woman and her potential matches, to make sure nothing inappropriate happens.
Where they stand: Muzmatch launched in the United Kingdom, and now is part of Mountain View-based startup accelerator Y Combinator’s current class — they’ll have their demo day later this month. So far the app has matched more than 6,000 people, including a couple in Uganda (turns out they were the only two people in the country who had signed up for the app).
What will they think of next?
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