(RNS) – A worldwide list of Muslim startup companies includes a multiplicity of companies started in America. The list, the fourth of such a compilation compiled by the Center for Global Muslim Life, highlights Muslim-oriented or Muslim-oriented startups and was announced last week at the group’s Global Muslim Impact Forum.
“There have been 50 companies on the list in recent years. We had 100 companies this year to show the growth in space since the last time we published in 2017,” said Dustin Craun, the CEO from the Center for Global Muslim Life, a think tank based in San Diego, California, with a focus on Muslim social influence, from the arts, to food, to tech.
The list includes new ventures of actor Riz Ahmed, chef CZN Burak, activist Malala Yousafzai Malik, comedian Hasan Minhaj and other Muslim celebrities. The companies are diverse in scope, ranging from new Islamic seminars and Muslim-oriented smartphone applications to fintech (finance / technology), media and fashion.
This is the fourth edition of the list, first compiled in 2015 and again for each of the next two years. Previous appearances on the list have included LaunchGood, Noor Kids and Haute Hijab.
While 65 countries are represented on the list, out of the 100 companies selected for 2022, some 43 are based in the United States.
“In many ways, though, it can be important to think about the cities in which these companies are based instead of the countries,” Craun said. “New York, for example, can clearly be thought of as an important city in the Islamic world for several reasons: its international population, importance to global finances and home to the UN HQ.”
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This year’s list was also geographically diverse within the United States, with companies in the traditional startup hotbeds of New York City and Silicon Valley, but also more unexpected locations such as Puerto Rico.
The United States is also a target market for many of the international startups mentioned in the report. A colorful example includes retired UFC athlete Khabib Nurmagomedov, who plans to launch a series of gyms for mixed martial arts in the United States and is an investor in the US-based Islamic fintech company Wahid Invest. The number of fintech companies on the list has increased over the years in line with the broader fintech industry.
Another, Tarteel, uses an AI support program to improve the pronunciation of Quranic recitation and has already attracted more than 200,000 users. In a similar way, Qariah offers access to female recitations of the Quran.
How much these startups have raised individually was unclear, although worldwide the report says that the companies on the list have raised more than $ 400 million and that it is a requirement for the list that the companies have launched.
“Many of these companies are based in the United States because of the wonderful diversity of the American Muslim community that is associated with Muslim communities around the world,” Craun told RNS. “We also have greater wealth and access to investment and philanthropic donations that allow our institutions to grow and sustain in the long run.”