TaqwaTech Tuesdays: Serving the Global Muslim Consumer

16 April 2024

At Gobi Partners, our investment strategy for the past two decades has focused on supporting exceptional entrepreneurs in emerging venture markets. This has led us to be among the first venture capital firms to enter burgeoning markets such as China, Hong Kong, Pakistan and Southeast Asia. Additionally, we have been investing in a significantly underserved market on a global scale—the global Muslim consumer. This investment strategy is what we refer to as the “TaqwaTech” approach.

Gobi is ideally situated to lead the TaqwaTech strategy, given our substantial presence in the region. With 40% of the 630 million ASEAN population being Muslim, and 60% of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims residing in Asia, the potential market for consumption and investment is immense.

It is worth noting that the global Muslim market is an immense investment opportunity currently valued at US$5 trillion. Muslim consumers significantly contribute to various sectors, including tourism, finance, apparel, healthcare products, and media. In Islamic finance, global Shariah-compliant assets are projected to reach US$4.9 trillion by 2025. Shariah-compliant equity funds have demonstrated favourable returns, particularly in the manufacturing, healthcare, and technology industries. Furthermore, global Sukuk issuances have now surpassed US$100 billion.

Identifying this trend early on, Gobi invested in numerous TaqwaTech ventures across Asia, with three of them being highlighted on our platforms last year: Abhi, Pakistan’s first FinTech startup to offer earned wage access (EWA), invoice factoring, and payroll solutions; Udhaar Book, a digital bookkeeping app for small and medium enterprises; and Zarya, a social commerce platform empowering social sellers.

As Syawal marks a period of renewal following a period of spiritual cleansing, we embrace the principles of reflection, gratitude, and community support. Our aim is to cultivate a network of socially conscious enterprises that contribute to the Muslim economy’s advancement.

In this spirit, we’re excited to spotlight two of our latest TaqwaTech portfolio companies: Bitsmedia and Durioo. Bitsmedia, based in Singapore, is the creative force behind MuslimPro, the world’s first Muslim superapp, boasting over 150 million downloads worldwide and over 22 million monthly active users. Additionally, they recently launched Qalbox, a subscription-based video-on-demand service tailored for the global Muslim community, now with over 250,000 subscribers worldwide. 

Meanwhile, Malaysia-based Durioo, is an animation studio dedicated to producing Islamic content for children. After emerging from the world-famous accelerator Y Combinator in 2022, Durioo has grown rapidly to now serve over 30,000 paid subscribers worldwide, offering video streaming content and mobile games aligned with Islamic values.

We invite you to explore our insightful TaqwaTech articles throughout Syawal in our TaqwaTech Tuesday series as we showcase innovative entrepreneurship across the thriving global Muslim economy.