Here are a few Start ups which is already making their presence felt
November Culture founded by Malaysian pop star Yuna Zarari and sells long sleeve dresses, tapered pants and faux leather culottes. The online marketplace’s current obsession is “power sleeves” and features a selection of vibrant headscarves.
Halal Trip is an app that helps Muslims traveling to new cities to find mosques and halal restaurants. The idea came to Fazal Balhardeen over two years ago when he realized the leisure and hospitality industry wasn’t appealing to Muslim travelers.
Zilzar an online superstore that specializes in halal products, was launched in 2014 by Rushdi Siddiqui in Malaysia. Estimates valued the global Muslim food market at more than $1.2 billion in 2015. Users can buy wholesale halal food, electronic qur’ans, and even prayer beads
Ethis, – A crowdfunding startup which initially focus on the property market but now is venturing into other areas, it is the first Sharia compliant crowd funding venture capital which is based in singapore.
Southeast Asia is “arguably the fastest growing internet market in the world,” according to Facebook co-founder of Eduardo Savarin. Southeast Asia’s largest country, Indonesia, is pouring resources into its startup sector. Grab, a taxi liftshare company, announced it is investing $100 million in Indonesia’s tech scene to compete against Uber.
In 2015 Malaysia brokered 96 startup deals worth $800,000 in investments, and Singapore had 55 startups with $7.5m of investments. Forty percent of Southeast Asia’s population are Muslim; of those Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei are Muslim-majority countries. The potential market of people wanting to buy Islam-sanctioned products, apps, and holidays, is huge.
Meziane Lefer, a professor of finance at City University Business School, thinks the time is ripe for Muslims to get into startups in a major way. “You can’t finance a Muslim startup with debt,” Lefer says. However, startups can be financed with angel investment (capital from investors in return for a stake in the business), which is one of the reasons startups in the Muslim world are booming.
He explains: “There are rules Muslims must follow when they are starting a business. For example, Riba, or charging interest is forbidden under Islamic law, and so is borrowing any money that comes from interest. It’s essential that Islamic startups with the goal of providing Muslim customers a halal service are given opportunities that accord with Sharia law.”
Shahfizal Musa is the editor of Halalop. He graduated with a Law degree from Thames Valley University London. He is an award-winning journalist covering topics such as human trafficking, Muslim research discoveries, and exceptional Muslims.