Dwelling in Malaysia, Noor Neelofa Mohd Noor (Neelofa) is a well-liked movie star that you just’ve most likely heard of. She’s an actress, TV host, business mannequin, and an entrepreneur.
Arguably essentially the most notable firm underneath her belt is Naelofar, a neighborhood modest-wear model that’s gone worldwide. However considered one of her different, newer companies, is TheNoor—a way of life Muslim app created along with her co-founders, Mohd Izzairi Yamin (Izzairi) and Ahmad Tajuddin Idris (Tajuddin).
It has been going worldwide, with areas in Turkey, Indonesia, and shortly, Saudi Arabia. The model has lately opened its Sequence A fundraising for US$2.5 million too, in line with Izzairi.
To not point out that it’s additionally standard amongst native customers, rating Quantity 28 within the Way of life class of the Apple App Retailer on the time of writing.
However listed here are seven different attention-grabbing enjoyable information that you just most likely didn’t know in regards to the model, primarily based on what they shared on the latest Entrepreneurs Summit IV hosted by NEXEA.
1. The concept began after witnessing an embarrassing second in a mosque
A couple of years in the past, Izzairi was ready for the subsequent prayer time in a mosque. He seen an aged man sitting in entrance of him doing the identical, whereas opening up a Muslim app.
It was then that an intrusive advert popped up that includes a bikini-clad girl, the type that will not go away for about 10 seconds. “He was fairly ashamed,” Izzairi relayed. “He hid his cellphone, however I used to be behind him so I noticed every part.”
This left Izzairi questioning, “Why is that this occurring to this aged man?” Then he realised that it was most likely a results of not subscribing to the app.
The subscription charge for that app is round RM5 a month, which can not look like a lot. However for some of us, that cash may very well be higher spent elsewhere.
That’s when it hit him—he wanted to create a premium Muslim app that’s given out without spending a dime. So, he first roped in Tajuddin to kick issues off.
2. The co-founders needed to wait half a 12 months for an appointment with Neelofa
Quick ahead to a couple months later in 2019, Izzairi had an issue with person acquisition. He introduced this as much as Tajuddin, who occurred to be an in depth buddy of Neelofa.
Tajuddin informed Izzairi, “Let’s type a staff and suggest this to her.” That’s precisely what they did, and the remainder is historical past.
However Izzairi overtly shared that the interval between this concept forming and truly assembly her to pitch the app was a protracted one. With Neelofa’s busy schedule as a star and businesswoman, they needed to wait in line for about half a 12 months, and the pandemic didn’t assist.
It was solely in Could 2020 that they lastly proposed TheNoor to her. And happily for everybody concerned, the wait was value it as a result of Neelofa was keen to hitch.
3. TheNoor obtained 160,000 downloads on its first day
When Izzairi and Tajuddin met Neelofa, they offered the imaginative and prescient and mission of TheNoor. This included what they had been planning on doing and what they’re constructing.
“She acquired and excited. She stated, ‘Sure, I’m in it and let’s do that’,” Izzairi recalled. “‘We’re doing one thing good, one thing totally different than what’s already on the shelf’. When she stated that, I used to be actually completely satisfied.”
So all of them set to work and the app was efficiently launched in January 2021. Based on Izzairi, it was fairly successful on the primary day itself, garnering 160,000 downloads on the Apple App Retailer.
On the identical time, they had been the primary app for not less than seven days and had been within the Prime 10 of classes for about three and a half months, Izzairi shared.
4. A prince of Saudi Arabia helps TheNoor increase to Madinah
Izzairi stated that whereas they had been planning for growth, Khailee Ng from 500 World launched him to Prince Saud bin Khalid Al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia, who can also be the deputy governor of Madinah.
And it was this introduction that accelerated TheNoor’s growth plans into Saudi Arabia.
Khailee made the decision and informed the prince about Izzairi and TheNoor, and the prince invited Izzairi to his home in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to debate it additional.
“I informed him in regards to the growth plan and what we’re going to do in Saudi, and what’s the larger plan and imaginative and prescient for this app,” Izzairi stated. “The prince listened for one and a half hours. He was impressed and pleased with the progress we’ve made.”
The prince then assisted in connecting them with native enterprise companions in Madinah, and even supplied to pay for TheNoor’s workplace in Saudi Arabia.
5. Partnering with Neelofa wasn’t simply due to her movie star standing
Very early on through the speak, Izzairi credited a big a part of TheNoor’s success to Neelofa. Sure, she’s a businesswoman and has a considerable amount of public affect. However Izzairi defined that greater than that, she was their proper product-market match.
Neelofa has a powerful presence within the native market, and it’s not merely on account of her movie star standing. For plenty of years now, he shared that Neelofa has been actively embracing and selling her Islamic religion to her followers.
Due to this fact, partnering along with her was extra impactful in comparison with onboarding somebody well-known who didn’t have a powerful connection to their beliefs.
Had they finished the choice as an alternative, “When it comes to progress and path, it will not be working as it’s proper now,” Izzairi confided. That is additionally as a result of Neelofa contributes concepts, like what the model ought to do and the way they need to penetrate the market, and isn’t only a spokesperson.
6. TheNoor is a lot greater than an app to test prayer instances
“I wished to create one thing that would positively affect Muslim lives all over the world,” Neelofa acknowledged.
Sharing this mission, the staff behind TheNoor discovered methods to supply extra tangible advantages to customers. This consists of arising with strategic and distinctive partnerships with different manufacturers.
For instance, TheNoor staff reached out to Zurich Malaysia, an insurance coverage and takaful options supplier, to give you its personal private accident protection (referred to as Nurani Takaful). At RM12 a 12 months, candidates of the takaful plan acquire a most protection of RM15,000.
“That is one thing that Zurich has specifically crafted for TheNoor,” Izzairi shared. Moreover that, customers can simply carry out zakat and donations to partnering NGOs from the world over. There are additionally companies to assist with worldwide cash transfers, will writing, and even an ecommerce platform.
7. However its aim continues to be to boost the Muslim expertise by means of innovation
Nonetheless, TheNoor stays steadfast in its aim of being an app to ease the each day lives of Muslims. That is what the model has recognized to be the core of TheNoor.
“Folks don’t purchase TheNoor simply to pay takaful or zakat. That’s not the primary intention of customers once they obtain the app,” Izzairi reiterated.
Therefore, they’ve invested money and time into the extra religious features of the app as nicely. Which is why the app presents options like a digital Quran, each day hadiths and prayers, Islamic lectures, and a Qibla locator.
Underneath TheNoorTV Collections, customers can even study Arabic and enhance their Islamic information by means of recorded talks.
Izzairi shared that they’ve even constructed an AI checker to detect and proper a person’s recitations of the Quranic verses. “Proper now, we’re within the strategy of constructing different AI options within the app.” He teased that the subsequent AI function is the hadith part, which is able to most likely be realised by Q1 subsequent 12 months.
Learn articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups right here.
Featured Picture Credit score: Neelofa / Vulcan Publish