Inner Circle, Muzmatch and Happn Interviewed in UAE

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The National, an online publication based in the United Arab Emirates, has published a long piece featuring a number of dating executives.

“Dating and dollars: Making money from the business of love” discusses successful entrepreneurs from the online dating space.

Shahzad Younas, Co-founder of Muzmatch, discusses his vision for the brand and the implementation plans for recently acquired funding.

“For Muslims, a big part of the culture is marriage,” he says. “There’s a lot of pressure to settle down. But I saw that many people, especially in professional circles like lawyers, bankers and doctors, were finding it hard to find that special someone.”

“We’re growing faster than ever now,” he added. “Our goal is to hit 1 million users within the next 12 months, if not sooner. I think that’s absolutely achievable.”

The Inner Circle’s David Vermeulen spoke about hosting an elite community of singles, covering why he believed in a subscription model and striking the balance between exclusivity and a critical mass of users.

“Our biggest USP is that we go for quality instead of quantity,” he tells The National. “Many people are ‘Tinder tired’ and are looking for a more meaningful experience, with like-minded young professionals.”

“We’re pretty lean and mean, we only have around 12 staff,” he says. “Last year we grew 300 per cent in terms of revenue and also Ebitda.”

Didier Rappaport, CEO and founder of Happn, talked about having a freemium model and running an app in a crowded market. The Paris-based platform has over 200,000 users in the UAE.

“The sector is very crowded, there are a lot of competitors,” says Rappaport. “You need to be competitive and aggressive to succeed and become global, and to convert enough users into paying users.”

Stanford professor Paul Oyer and Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, also give their thoughts on the industry.

Read more here.