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Big data more important than ever as e-commerce market in MENA booms

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The e-commerce industry has been growing dramatically in the Middle East lately with an average revenue of $39 billion in 2015; and a projected market size of $51 billion by 2017 – according to the latest research. This has been the main motive driving A15, the leading technology investor, to invest 2.5 million EGP in MENA Commerce, the region’s first big-data company in the e-commerce retail industry.

Big data is a space that hasn’t seen much activity in the region. The main premise is that it uses sophisticated analytics algorithms to analyze the enormous amounts of data currently available through for example consumer purchasing habits. “A15 is keen on investing in big data companies and believes there is much that we can learn about how we here in the region behave and in that lies an opportunity to make more informed decisions and generate greater returns not just for A15 and its companies but for the region,” said A15 CEO, Fadi Antaki.

Mena Commerce is a technology startup focusing on building a bridge between content and commerce. it is using big data to map out consumer behaviour and help e-commerce and traditional retailers target their consumers more effectively thus generate higher returns on their advertising spending. Their two flagship products ShopShopMe.com and AdRelated.com (patent-pending) cater to both ends of the spectrum: search and discovery. With around 40 team members, most of whom are in engineering and data science, MENA Commerce is building unique intellectual property out of MENA that can be used by clients around the world.

“Mena Commerce is tapping into a very lucrative and a fast growing area which is e-commerce. Being players ourselves in that area with strong experience, we saw an opportunity to add lots of value to the Mena Commerce team’s work.” Said A15’s CEO, Fadi Antaki.

Having supported and owned leading digital publishers, such as Arab Finance, Masrawy, and YallaKora and with Connect Ads still in its arsenal, A15 can certainly bring its previous publisher experience and digital advertising business experience to the equation to support Mena Commerce’s growth. “A15 has extensive digital publishing experience and a vast publishing network as well as Connect Ads’ digital agency power & leadership. Combine these two things and we can really accelerate Mena Commerce’s growth in the region.” Added Antaki.

“The investment by A15 will be instrumental in helping us scale faster, and work closely with other A15 companies especially Connect Ads as there is perfect synergy between us. The Middle East market is hungry for our services especially with the e-commerce boom we are witnessing.” Said Moustafa Mahmoud, CEO of Mena Commerce.

Egypt tops all the Arab countries transacting online with 15.2 million active buyers; along with UAE (6.8 million buyers), KSA (10.6 million buyers) & Kuwait (2.4 million buyers). In a report published last year by Payfort, it is estimated that Egypt’s e-commerce market will almost double in size reaching $2.7 billion by 2020, from $1.4 billion in 2014.


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