It’s a recipe they say results in more successful marriages.
Promoting successful marriages might sound lofty, but in conservative countries like Egypt or Saudi Arabia, young singles are challenged to find a mate.
Calling it a “good problem,” Maalouf is waiting for his lawyers to weigh in, but thinks he’d prefer angel to VC financing: “We still decide everything about the site and I am not sure if I want to share it with someone yet.” Et3arraf lays claim to being the first Middle Eastern dating platform, “for Arabs, by Arabs, in Arabic.” “We think we are successful in countries where cultural constraints make it difficult for singles from opposite gender to meet,” say Maalouf and his co-founder Rakan Nimer.
The idea for et3arraf was borne from a heartbreak Maalouf suffered in France.
“ He and Nimer met at a tech mixer, and agreed that marriage websites were an untapped market in the Arab world.“There is a cultural constraint between genders [in the region],” Maalouf says. And at the same time, there is a lot of social pressure for young people to get married at a certain age: You are 30? You should find a wife.” Conceived as something similar to Ok Cupid or e Harmony, the cofounders say et3arraf uniquely preserves “the cultural constraint” for conservative Arabs, while giving users the chance to interact and meet more like-minded matches.