Dating app giant Match Group is continuing its pursuit of one of the largest Muslim matchmaking services in court, alleging that the company has copied its apps and services.
Muzmatch was started in 2011 by Morgan Stanley investment banking employee Shahzad Younas, according to a post shared recently by Younas on the Muzmatch website.
In the post, Younas details his version of the company’s founding and trajectory as well as repeated attempts by Match to not only sue the startup for copyright infringement but also purchase the company from Younas.
“We are a small startup fighting to defend ourselves against the largest dating company in the world,” Younas wrote.
Match Group declined to provide comment to The Dallas Morning News, citing a company policy against speaking publicly about litigation.
The two companies are scheduled to meet in U.K. court next week over Match’s claims of trademark infringement, according to U.K.-based Sunday Times.
Match Group also sued Muzmatch in Texas district court last year alleging that the startup “copied the Tinder app’s world-changing, draggable-card-based, mutual opt-in app interface.” Match took issue with Muzmatch’s similar user interface and “swipe-to-match” feature. Younas said he ultimately settled with the company in the U.S. and altered the product’s features rather than pursue costly litigation.
Younas launched his mobile app for Muzmatch in 2015 and was the first Muslim-centered service to be backed by famed Silicon Valley accelerator YCombinator in 2017. Younas claims he’s registered trademarks for Muzmatch in both the U.S. and U.K.
Younas also claims that Match made at least three offers to buy Muzmatch between 2018 and 2019, ultimately offering $35 million for the company, which he declined. Match purchased another Muslim matchmaking app, Harmonica, in August 2019.
Dating back to at least 2017, Younas has said in interviews that his service doesn’t aim to be a dating service like Tinder but a service for Muslims to find a partner they intend to marry. Other Western dating apps don’t cater to a culture where marriage plays a far larger role than casual dating and hookups, Younas told TechCrunch.
“We fight, because we must. It is crucial that products built for our community are built BY our community, and that we do not allow ourselves to be dictated and controlled by others,” Younas wrote.
Muzmatch employs 60 and the app has more than 5 million users as of December 2021, according to its founder.