UAE start-up nets $3m in VC funding

Comparison website compareit4me.com closes its first VC funding round with Fadi Ghandour, the founder of Aramex, as one of the investors
UAE start-up nets $3m in VC funding
By Tamara Pupic
Mon 14 Sep 2015 05:05 PM

Compareit4me.com, the UAE-based operator of finance comparison sites across the region, has announced the completion of its venture capital funding round worth $3 million.

The funding was led by STC Ventures, the venture capital arm of Saudi Telecom, with backing from Wamda Capital and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority completing the investment group, a statement said.

The company, which launched in the UAE in 2011, will use the funds to continue its rapid expansion, with the brand launching in at least three more countries in 2015.

It is currently in seven countries: the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait as compareit4me.com, and in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon under the name of amwalak.com.

Speaking about his plans, founder and CEO Jon Richards, said: “We are delighted to have such an amazing lineup of investors join the company. They are some of the most influential VCs in the Middle East and each will bring more than just money to the table.

“All three are strategically important to us; STC will support our KSA expansion, Dubai Silicon Oasis gives us local support and access to untapped sectors, and Wamda brings a wealth of regional know-how, networks and experience.

“All three are seasoned, value-add VC investors and have a successful track record in helping tech startups scale in the region, which will no doubt help us hugely accelerate our current growth.’’

The websites help users find and compare financial products including personal loans, credit cards and bank accounts.

Despite the comparison industry in the Middle East being nascent, compareit4me.com already generates more than 45,000 finance applications per month, more than any other site in the region.

Speaking about this investment, Fadi Ghandour, founder of Aramex and managing partner of Wamda Capital, said: “Compareit4me is offering a service that is very much in demand in the region and we believe that the company is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the opportunity in the market.

“Wamda Capital is excited to be part of the compareit4me story and we have big hopes for its success.”

Compareit4me.com raised an initial round of angel funding from Mulverhill Associates, run by former Abraaj Capital director Jonathan Hall, in March 2014.

For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.