- Farid founded TemanHidupku to solve his own problems of finding a wife. He wanted to create a Muslim dating app focused on personality rather than looks.
- He pretty much runs a solo enterprise, and plans to include options like real-life gifting and running offline events in the future.
When the founder of TemanHidupku, Farid Nor, started the website in 2013, it came from a place of personal struggle—his own difficulty in finding a wife.
“I was sick and tired of failing in relationships, and I didn’t have much time to socialise,” said Farid.
“But to my own findings, most of the online matchmaking websites back then were nothing more than second-hand car selling directories.” What he meant was that they only emphasise looks.
He took his own frustrations to code—with help from some friends of his—and brought TemanHidupku to life.
It’s a freemium dating site that wants to help Muslim men and women find their match by matching up complementary personalities. Similar to Coffee Meets Bagel, TemanHidupku will recommend 5 profiles every time a user logs in.
Getting listed on the platform is free. But to qualify for its unique perks, like a personality test, searching for users, advanced privacy settings and match recommendations users can opt to pay for services. Options range from RM30 a month to RM90 for six months.
Other than that, it works like a typical dating site. You can message someone if they strike your fancy, then decide if you want to take the relationship further into the real world.
Since then, Farid has managed to solve his own problem. He met his now-wife on the website, and the marriage has resulted in their first daughter.
“Aisya is literally the product of TemanHidupku, if I may say so,” joked Farid about his daughter.
He had an idea, but that didn’t mean others matched his interest.
With a lack of funds heavy on his mind, Farid created a one-page website and poured his heart and ideas into it—about his ideal online matchmaking site.
Farid emphasises that he wants his platform to about connection, not looks. So the infrastructure of the app allows users to be matched based on complementary traits, and perhaps even lets users learn more about their own personalities.
There are other factors that users can filter for too, like if they want a match only from specific states, only of a certain job, dowries they can afford, and even when they’d want to get married.
Perhaps it was these details that made the difference.
“I said if you happen to like my idea and my aspirations, and you want to participate in this website, you can leave your email address here and I will invite you once we have a working prototype,” said Farid.
And respond, they did. Farid managed to pull in 300 interested emails, without any advertising.
It wasn’t a massive number, but Farid felt like it was enough to validate his idea.
A programmer friend was tasked with developing the TemanHidupku website from scratch, paid for by Farid.
In fact, Farid had to dip into his life savings to bring the website to life, even borrowing cash to build the first prototype.
“I was very prudent in spending the money to build this,” said Farid. He even made sure that the “matchmaking” is all done automatically so that he can expend a minimal time on maintenance, and more time for testing and executing ideas.
Plus, it gives him time to run his own company, CloudApps Technology Sdn. Bhd.
TemanHidupku is currently paying for itself since its second year of running, and now has 25,750 members on board.
Today, Farid is still running TemanHidupku solo.
Not only did he grow the website by himself, he also had to put out fires as they come solo too.
Facebook had banned him from advertising on their platform “for no reason”, so he came up with a little workaround.
“Whenever there are viral issues on social media, I tried to join in the conversation by plugging TemanHidupku’s opinion into the post thread. This indirectly introduces my website to the crowd,” said Farid.
He still does use Google Ads and optimises it from time to time.
Right now his focus is on getting more users to sign up for the paid version of the platform. In an attempt to grow their numbers, TemanHidupku plans to hold offline events to help convert more users.
They’re also considering options for other revenue streams, perhaps by allowing members to send gifts to each other through the platform. This way, users can still keep their privacy intact, while still being able to engage each other on a more tangible level.
The concept of a dating site is completely done on the internet, even a relatively niche one like a Muslim dating site. So the success of one truly depends on how it’s run, and we think there is something quite thoughtful about TemanHidupku.
It seems a little bit materialistic to filter for matches based on income, but it does have a point. Financial capability is a trait many would think about in looking for a life partner, and Farid’s platform delivers that.
Farid has indicated his interest in expanding the platform beyond Malaysia, and we’ll be curious to see if his platform can compete on a global level.
- TemanHidupku’s website can be found here.
Feature Image Credit: Farid Nor