Salam Planet, a Danish venture-backed lifestyle app for Muslims, has acquired UK-founded Halal Dining Club.
In a sign of growing investor interest in the UK’s largely untapped Islamic economy sector, Salam Planet purchased restaurant-booking service Halal Dining Club for an ‘undisclosed’ amount.
Commenting on the acquisition, Omair Khan, founder and CEO of Salam Planet, said: “Halal Dining Club shares our vision of bringing greater convenience to halal diners and improving the restaurant discovery and booking experience.
“We value the users’ desire to discover great halal restaurants in a convenient and reliable manner – many of whom we hope will become life-long users.”
Lifestyle app Salam Planet has nearly 200.000 registered users across in Denmark, Pakistan and UK and the new acquisition opens up its growing presence in the UK and Asia.
Halal Dining Club was launched in 2016 to provide an innovative app that allows halal diners to find, review, book restaurants and earn loyalty rewards in one place.
Its 4,500-strong curated restaurant database spans 10 cities including London, Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok and New York with an online weekly reach of one million users across its platforms.
Copenhagen-based Promentum Equity Partners, the VC behind Salam Planet commented, “The opportunity in the digital Islamic economy is huge and relatively untapped. The combination of Salam Planet’s strength in attracting Muslim lifestyle users to the platform and Halal Dining Club’s proposition into the dining space creates a stronger consumer proposition and will bring Salam Planet one step closer to delivering on its vision to create a global social media lifestyle platform and marketplace addressing Muslim communities.”
Consolidation in the Islamic sector
Founder of Halal Dining Club Siddika Jaffer told Arabian Business: “This acquisition definitely represents the start of consolidation trends in the Islamic economy sector.
“Individual entrepreneurs have been moved by similar problems across different country markets to come up with fairly similar solutions, such as a halal restaurant finder app or an e-commerce platform.
“Whilst start-ups may have had some traction in each market, in order to grow and scale, there is a need to consolidate while maintaining the unique insights gleaned in each disparate market.”
Jaffer predicted that British modest fashion and halal travel sectors would see more consolidation in the coming years.
She said: “From a consumer perspective, increased affluence and a young millennial tech-savvy user base continue to provide good market conditions for startups.
“For start-ups, the difficulty remains determining how to scale when serving fragmented user bases across several country markets. I refer specifically to startups targeting users in Western markets where mainstream players do not naturally cater to the specific nuanced needs of Muslim consumers.”
Jaffer will continue to work with Salam Planet in an advisory capacity to help deliver the shared vision.
The global halal food and beverage (F&B) market are set to boom in the next five years, driven by new entrants to the market.
The sector is expected to grow from $1.24 trillion in 2016 to reach $1.93tn by 2022, according to the State of the Global Islamic Economy report published by Reuters and the Dubai Government.
F&B leads Muslim spend by category, followed by clothing and apparel at $254 billion, media and entertainment at $198bn, travel at $169bn, and pharmaceuticals and cosmetics at $83bn and $57.4bn, the report said.