Jordanian startup Mawdoo3.com, the world’s most visited Arabic website with more than 45 million unique users per month, has completed a US $13.5 million Series B round. The raise was led by UK-based Kingsway, with participation from US-based Endure Capital.
Mawdoo3 is a comprehensive online Arabic content platform, based in Jordan, that uses the wiki system similar to Wikipedia, and provides premium quality Arabic content.
It was initially established in 2010 by Mohammad Jaber and Rami Al Qawasmi, and officially launched in 2012. It won the first prize for the Queen Rania National Entrepreneurship Award for the category of universities and academics in 2011.
This investment will enable Mawdoo3 to expand its content and AI technology as it seeks to further its mission of enriching the Arabic language online, with just 1% of web content in Arabic when more than 5% of the world’s population, some 420 million people, speak it.
Currently the website serves 45 million unique users monthly and has nearly 150,000 articles online covering a wide-range of topics, ranging from lifestyle, health, education and food. The site continues to grow at pace, with the equivalent of two novels published on the platform every day.
Earlier this year, the company announced its plans to launch ‘Salma’, an Arabic version of Siri and Alexa, which will be deployed to answer factoid questions from Mawdoo3’s platform, thus adding a new channel for consuming Arabic content. Salma will be used as an Arabic voice interface service for businesses in multiple sectors including travel, automobile, telecom and electronics, enabling consumers to engage and transact with these businesses via voice.
Commenting on the investment, Rami Al-Qawasmi, Co-founder and CEO of Mawdoo3.com, said: “The world’s Arabic speakers are the most underserved online, with the availability of quality Arabic content limited and technology, particularly in voice, not having the same impact as other languages. Our mission is to change that and build on our strong position as the most visited daily Arabic website in the world today”.
“This investment from international investors is a validation of Mawdoo3’s potential. Our success is a result of the trust built over the past six years with our users, which is a motivation for us for an even greater impact in the coming years as we expand our content and the channels through which we deliver that content to the Arabic-speaking world online.”
Tarek Fahim, Partner at Endure Capital, said: “If you think being the number one Arabic destination worldwide with more than 45 million monthly unique visitors is enough, think again: this is just the beginning. Mawdoo3’s unique data sets and technical talents give them a head start on the AI race. We at Endure Capital are proud to be a part of their journey.”