In the previous post about Yahoo! acquiring Maktoob, there was a brief paragraph about what will happen to the rest of the Maktoob Group. Here, we’ll get into more details about what’s next for the group and its companies.
A new group entity has been setup under the name ‘Jabbar Internet Group’, to group the remaining sister companies of Maktoob Group that weren’t part of the Yahoo! deal, which are: Souq.com, CashU, Tahadi, Ikoo and Araby. This group is owned by the current investors, including Tiger Capital (a hedge fund out of the United States), the founders and other investors.
Samih Toukan, one of the two original co-founders of Maktoob, will be heading the group as CEO and Chairman. He said that the group will be receiving a fresh capital injection of $20 million and will continue to expand aggressively.
As for the companies of Jabbar Internet Group, they are as follows:
Souq.com: Headed by Ronaldo Mouchawar; Established in 2005, Souq.com has grown to become the largest e-commerce site in the Arab world covering Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, with plans to expand to new markets.
CashU: Headed by Martin Waldenstrom; Launched in July 2002, cashU is a prepaid Internet payment service, through which users can purchase products and services online through cashU’s merchant base. The company has seen a spurt of growth over the past couple of years as a result of the spread of online gaming.
Tahadi: Headed by Steve Tsao; Established end of 2008, Tahadi was established as a publisher of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG’s) targeting the Middle East and North Africa region. Their first game is Arabic Ragnarok Online (ARO).
Ikoo: Headed by Isam Bayazidi; After Maktoob Group’s acquisition last month of leading MENA advertising network E-Marketing MENA (a company founded by ex-Maktoobian Khaled Jabasini in 2005), it has merged it’s Kalimat Text Advertising product into the company, and re-branded the lot as Ikoo.
Araby: This is the group’s search engine offering, providing advanced Arabic-language search capabilities, and a lot of the technology actually used to power search in different channels on Maktoob.
Jabbar Internet Group and its companies should continue to cooperate closely with Yahoo! Maktoob through commercial partnership agreements.