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#TECH: Let's 'Joompa' first

A Muslim-friendly dating site aims to help single adults find their soulmate

MOST of us would want to settle down and get married when the time is right. However, finding the right life partner is not as easy as buying a car.

One female technopreneur is hoping to ease the way for singles to find their soulmate. Anisa Hassan has created matchmaking mobile app called Joompa, which is targeted at Muslim adults with marriage in mind.

An "optimistic matchmaker", she has more than 16 years of experience. According to Anisa, the name Joompa is derived from the Malay word "jumpa" (to meet) and is designed to help single Muslims find their soulmate.

Anisa claimed that there are almost 50 million single Muslims in the Southeast Asia region.

"In Malaysia, about 40 per cent of them have good careers but they still face difficulty finding a partner," she said.

"Joompa is a safe and ethical platform for single Muslims to find their life partner.

"My research shows that single Muslims in Southeast Asia are a severely underserved demographic," she added.

The Joompa app.

HOW IT STARTED

Anisa, who has been a matchmaker for more than 16 years, knows how difficult it is for single people to find their life partner.

"I also understand the context that we place our religion and marriage high on our priorities and that marriage is the fundamental building block of life," she said.

Anisa said Joompa promotes a secure, ethical and transparent dating platform.

The search algorithm is based on compatibility requirements and is personalised to provide the best possible range of selections.

Those who sign up must complete questionnaires which include faith-based questions and those which promote a successful marriage.

"We want to encourage users to look deep into a person's profile, rather than just mindlessly swiping left or right based on just their looks. Through this, Joompa sets itself apart from other casual dating apps," explained Anisa.

SECURITY

Since its launch, Joompa has gotten 16,000 downloads and close to 10,000 monthly active users, which comprise 70 per cent Malaysians and the rest Singaporeans and Indonesians.

"To avoid online scams, Joompa has integrated safety features and verification processes to give users a safe experience," said Anisa.

For example, Joompa's sign-up process requires facial recognition. It will flag fake profiles and photographs and reject them.

"A video feature will be available for those who are ready to go further, which ensures authenticity of identity," said Anisa.

For members who are shy, they can opt for a virtual date through the video call feature, which is highly recommended during this current pandemic.

Anisa Hassan

Subscribed users will have access to unlimited chats and video calls that ensure continuous interactions (within the app) rather than just exchanging contact numbers.

"This not only safeguards users but also promotes social distancing while they pursue their romantic relationships," she said.

As for mismatches and rejections, Anisa said while being in a relationship is the ideal aim of all users, rejection is part and parcel of the process of finding one's life partner.

Should chat exchanges and video calls lead to nowhere, users are advised to move on to other candidates with high compatibility.

"Mismatches usually happen when a person makes his or her decisions based purely on physical appearance.

"That's why in Joompa, users will be given insights into the person that they intend to meet so that they can develop a deeper friendship before they proceed.

"Our tech team is continually innovating and experimenting with new features that increase the likelihood of compatibility," said Anisa.

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