Yahoo Acquires Arabic Portal Maktoob.com
Yahoo (YHOO) acquired an Arabic web portal Maktoob a few hours ago, the company announced this morning.
No word on the financial terms, but TechCrunch estimates it at $85 million.
Founded in 2000, Maktoob has more than 16.5 million unique users, and offers search, social networking and payments under verticals like Souq and cashU. But the Yahoo acquisition does not include them all.
As per the deal, Souq.com, cashU.com and other Maktoob group companies Araby.com and Tahadi.com will operate as a new company called the Jabbar Internet Group, which will be promoted on the Yahoo website.
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz: “This acquisition will accelerate Yahoo!’s strategy of expanding in high-growth emerging markets where we believe Yahoo! has unparalleled opportunity to become the destination of choice for consumers,”
Keith Nilsson, Yahoo’s SVP of Emerging Markets: We see great growth potential in both audience and advertising in the Arab world and combining with Maktoob.com will allow us to quickly build our presence there with high quality products. This is a big win for publishers, advertisers, and consumers in the region.”
Maktoob.com is typically accessed in UAE, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Internet users in these areas will now have access to Yahoo’s content in Arabic, including Yahoo Messenger and Yahoo Mail, Yahoo announced on its blog:
Initially, we’ll plan to introduce Arabic versions of Yahoo! Mail, Messenger, Search, and our homepage and then eventually local versions of properties like News, Sports, and Finance. We’ll also focus on creating content and services tailored to the region. No other global company has made this kind of investment in local relevance for the Arab world.
Tags: Business Insider, Deal, Jabbar Internet Group, Maktoob, Yahoo
About the Author
SayginYalcin Saygin is the Founder & CEO of the Middle East's (ME) first & largest car buying service, SellAnyCar.com and Founder of the first & largest online private shopping club in the ME, Sukar.com, which has been acquired by Souq.com, making him Partner at the Souq.com and Jabbar Internet Group, becoming the largest ecommerce company in the Arab world, with 3000+ employees. In its largest acquisition outside the US to date, Amazon.com has acquired Souq.com Group. He has been selected as a UBS Industry Leader, a network of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals.
He was also Advisory Board Member & Academic Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at the Canadian University of Dubai.
He was referred to as "the region's online business guru" by the National newspaper in the UAE, while Arabian Business named him as "one of the region's finest young entrepreneurs and a major part of the entrepreneurial scene in recent years".
Fortune magazine (mag) named him in the 40 under 40 list, as one of the most influential young people in business, Entrepreneur mag ME awarded SellAnyCar.com, with Saygin at its helm, as the "Fastest Growing Company in the ME", while the National newspaper sees it among a handful of tech companies to "have the potential to break the $1bn barrier". In a cover story, Entrepreneur mag ME titled him as "undoubtedly one of the youngest & most successful internet entrepreneurs in the ME”, awarded SellAnyCar.com as "Technology Innovator of the Year”, while Khaleej Times awarded him as the Technology Leader. Gulf Business selected him as 1 of the Top 10 Entrepreneurs in ME.
In a cover story, Arabian Business counts him as 1 of the most successful entrepreneurs to call Dubai home. During the World Government Summit, HH Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed, Minister of Interior of the UAE, presented Saygin as an inspiring story for the country, in the presence of world leaders, incl. HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.