Hawaya, the Egyptian matchmaking platform that was previously known as Harmonica and was acquired by Match Group, is witnessing a significant surge in its usage due to COVID-19, the company said in a statement on Sunday.
The startup enables Muslim singles all around the world to connect with their potential life partner through its mobile app. It said that the number of messages exchanged between its users increased by 40% month-over-month in March, with a 25% increase in the amount of time spent on the app.
Hawaya has also recorded an increase of 50% in the usage of its exclusive chat mode, which enables two users to communicate with each other exclusively on a temporary basis. When this function is activated, two tethered users cannot trade messages with anyone else on the app.
The app was initially launched in Egypt and is currently expanding to other Muslim markets, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Turkey. Egypt, however, remains its largest market.
Hawaya CEO Sameh Saleh said in a statement, “Given the amount of extra time people have now due to work-from-home, curfew, and lockdown regulations, they can increasingly feel lonely as face-to-face time with their friends and even strangers has decreased. That is why we believe that our app is now more important than ever, giving people a sense of companionship and the possibility of finding lifelong true love.”
The startup is encouraging digital conversations by posting coronavirus advisories, emphasizing the importance of staying home and getting acquainted remotely.
This article first appeared in MENAbytes.