I recently found out about a startup called Hsoub founded by group of students studying in the United Kingdom. It is an internet-advertising solution that focuses on the Middle East and North Africa, aiming to connect advertisers with publishers from the MENA. Hsoub Ads works in similar way to Google Adsense and is very simple to use with a clean user interface, it is built to help businesses to enter the MENA market by advertising in high-quality websites, at cheaper price than Ad agencies, and generating good revenue for bloggers and publishers in MENA. So the main selling point for Hsoub is quality in targeting rather than quantity.
The startup is founded and operated by two university students in the UK:
Abedalmohimen Alagha: CEO – is a 21 year old from Syrian, who describes himself as an ethical hacker with security, programming and web development backgrounds. He previsouly founded iSecur1ty – an Arabic community for security professionals in 2009 which is now one of the top security websites in Arabic. He also worked on developing free and open source projects at SecurityTargets.
Ibrahim Uzar: COO – is a 19 year old from Turkey, who lived in Saudi Arabia. Studying advanced maths and computer science, Abdelmohimen describes Ibrahim as a very ambitious and promising person.
The two met while studying in University and decided to venture in this project together getting help from friends in their class to pitch in as part time work. They seem to be very ambitious and are working hard to push Hsoub to become not only a regional service but worldwide. These entrepreneurs are also aiming to make the business stand by not limiting themselves to advertising only, they we have plans to develop several internet-solutions to solve challenging problems in the MENA region. “We started with Hsoub Ads because the majority of the Arabic websites use advertisement as their main, and sometimes the only, revenue source.” Stated Alagha
When asked why would users use Hsoub and what are some of the aspects that would differentiate Hsoub from others he responded stating that Hsoub Ads is different from others because of:
- High-quality. We only approve websites that are publishing good and original content, and we review the website content before adding it to Hsoub Ads publishers network.
- Simplicity. From day one, Hsoub Ads was developed with simplicity and ease of use in mind, and we will keep it that way. Creating a new Adunit, Ad Place or adding a website is just a single step.
- Excellent service. We are doing our best to provide excellent services to our clients, this includes suggestions to let them get the most of their advertising campaigns, helping publishers setting up the Ad Place code in their website.. etc.
- Focused on MENA. As entrepreneurs and publishers, we know the challenges faced by other entrepreneurs and startups in MENA. Mostly related to payments. That’s why we added some features to the system such as allowing clients to transfer credit to each other, supporting more payment methods… etc.
I really like the fact that they approving each publishing websites and making sure that the content is original, and as blog owner I would seriously consider such a solution which prompted me to ask Abedalmohimen how do publishers generate profit and how many registered advertisers they have with Hsoub. Abedalmohimen replied saying:
Basically Hsoub Ads is a bidding-based Pay Per Click solution. Publishers revenue depends on the number of the legitimate clicks (we use several algorithms and techniques to make sure the clicks are not fake), but how much they will get from each click depends on the advertisers targeting :
• Website content (sections, keywords)
• Visitors location
As for the number of registered users “currently we have about 250+ registered client. 100+ of them are advertisers, about 200 publishers (if you sum the number it’ll be over 300, that’s because user can be publisher and advertiser in the same time).”
“In Hsoub Ads, we did not (and not aiming to) copy any other solution out there, but we wanted to make it Hsoub Ads way. Simple things such as the way we display the Adunits by mixing banners and text ads. The way we designed the user interface is what we feel simple advertising should look like.” – Abedalmohimen Alagah