Our Perspectives

“Mature founders, who have all the right factors in their favor, need investors who can offer certainty in helping them build and grow their businesses fast.”
Khaldoon Tabaza

Founder & Managing Director, iMENA Group

Starting (or investing in) an online business in MENA: lessons learned for founders and investors

In the rush to create the next big success in the online industry in MENA, it is useful to pause and ponder key lessons our nascent community can benefit from based on the successes (and failures) of founders and investors in developed markets, such as the US, and other emerging markets more advanced than ours, such as Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

KSA’s Most Wanted Cars during Ramadan 2015

KSA’s Most Wanted Cars during Ramadan 2015

  KSA's Most Wanted Cars during Ramadan 2015 Opensooq, the leading Arabic language classifieds website in the Middle East and North Africa region, published an infographic that details users' trends in regards to car buying and selling during the holy month of ...

The State of Internet in MENA 2015: Growth in Full Throttle (but beware of bumps)

The State of Internet in MENA 2015: Growth in Full Throttle (but beware of bumps)

It’s an exciting time for MENA’s online industry. While traditional industries' investors are starting to worry  -due to low oil prices, a potential slowdown in construction and real-estate, and eroding margins in telecom and banking- online businesses continue to thrive, ...

Online channels drove growth in MENA’s Food & Beverage Sector in 2014

Online channels drove growth in MENA’s Food & Beverage Sector in 2014

iMENA Group's online restaurant reservation platform, ReserveOut, released data revealing that online channels in the region are a key driver behind the growth in the Food & Beverage sector. The number of restaurants adopting online reservations grew by a whopping 130% last year, ...

Five trends that will shape the Arab World’s online industry in 2015

Five trends that will shape the Arab World’s online industry in 2015

Here are the top five trends we expect to see in 2015; The rise of online media brands and advertising expenditure growth; Evolution of online financial industry regulations; Return of Egypt as a strong online market and hub for online business; Online marketplaces to disrupt more industries; Strong comebacks by traditional retailers as omni-channel e-retailers, and market entry by international retailers.

Smartphone Generation: The Overnight Mobile Internet Revolution in the MENA Region

Smartphone Generation: The Overnight Mobile Internet Revolution in the MENA Region

What is the single indicator related to the online market opportunity in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that beats all other developed and developing countries? Just take a look at people in coffee shops, malls, or even at family gatherings, you'll notice immediately that everyone has a smartphone.

Cracking the online payments puzzle in MENA

Cracking the online payments puzzle in MENA

Online payments have been at the center of electronic commerce challenges in the Middle East and North Africa since the first regional e-commerce sites came online. The reasons aren't related to consumer trust but to the challenges and difficulties of receiving as well as paying via cards online in MENA.

The Surge in Online Classifieds

The Surge in Online Classifieds

A look into the regional print classifieds industry reveals that business from classifieds listings has stopped growing 2 or 3 years ago. While this may be bad news for publishers who made a bet on print classifieds, the migration of classified advertising to the Internet has been a win-win for consumers, small and medium-sized companies, and online classifieds start-ups and their investors.

Online Marketplaces: The New Commerce Power Players

Online Marketplaces: The New Commerce Power Players

During the past two years or so several marketplace categories have emerged as mature categories in the Arab world, with undisputed leaders operating efficient marketplaces and growing at record rates, all while requiring a fraction of the investment of a traditional marketplace.

The $10bn Opportunity: The Advent of the Hyper Growth Era in MENA’s Online Consumer Market

The $10bn Opportunity: The Advent of the Hyper Growth Era in MENA’s Online Consumer Market

If we benchmark the market potential in MENA against other markets such as Russia or South Korea where some public companies are now worth more than $25 billion in value, predicting that MENA would produce at least $10 billion of publicly listed Internet companies is not an overstatement.