All posts by Dejan Bizinger

Emaar acquires Namshi

Emaar Malls acquired 51% of Namshi for 151m USD

Global Fashion Group, owned by Rocket Internet, has announced a strategic partnership with Emaar Malls, which have some of the biggest shopping malls like Dubai Mall in the region and owned by property developer Emaar Properties.

Emaar Malls will acquire a 51% stake in Namshi, the leading online fashion retailer in the Middle East, for 151 million USD including investment in the company for its future growth, with GFG retaining the remaining as 49% co-owner. This partnership will accelerate Namshi’s development in the region while on the other hand give big possibilities to Emaar Malls to grow in ecommerce sector. It has been expected that partnership like this happen, taking into consideration that Emaar was interested to buy Souq.com, the biggest e-commerce site in the region, which was acquired by Amazon for 650m USD earlier this year.

Namshi acquired by Emaar

“The acquisition of a majority stake in Namshi underlines our digital-driven strategy to leverage the growing e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa region,” said Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Malls. “Namshi offers a perfect fit for Emaar Malls in accelerating its focus on multi-channel retailing, and creating long-term value for its stakeholders.”

“We are very excited to welcome Emaar Malls as our majority shareholder,” said Hosam Arab, MD of Namshi. “We are confident that this partnership will unlock further opportunities and help accelerate the development of Namshi for the benefit of our customers. We would like to congratulate and thank our team for their tireless efforts in making Namshi the Middle East’s premier fashion ecommerce destination and we look forward to continuing this journey together with Emaar Malls and GFG.”

Russian sites and services banned in Ukraine

Russia and Ukraine have had very tense relations since the last several years, and it seems currently relations are at all time low. As a result of that, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenk signed on Monday a decree which prevents the operation of Russian sites and online services in Ukraine.  To be precise – a so called web sanctions apply to 468 legal entities and 1228 individuals from Russia.

It is a well-known fact that majority of the most popular sites and online services come from Russia, and two online groups Yandex and Mail.ru owns the biggest number of those popular services. Ukraine users will not be able to use Yandex, Mail.ru. and services like Odnoklassniki (OK) and Vkontakte (VK) which are part of Mail.ru Group and many services from Yandex like search engine, maps, taxi app etc.

Both Yandex and Mail.ru said that this decision will not have significant effect on their financial results.  Mail.ru rep. expressed dissapointment with this and called it as “clearly politically-driven decision”. Around 25 million Ukrainian users will be affected, who regularly use online services from Russian companies.

This will give opportunity to local and foreign companies to gain better market share in the Ukrainian market. From the Ukrainian community many are against this decision and call it as “censorship”.

Uber Croatia

Tough times for Uber in Croatia

As reported by different major web sites in Croatia like Index and Dnevnik, Croatian transportation minister Butković has met with taxi representatives and stated that Uber is not legal in Croatia as well as Cammeo in Split. Uber and Cammeo replied that they are not taxi and that they are not violating the law.

Uber launched operations in Zagreb in October 2015, and expanded their services in Split and Dubrovnik in June 2016.  Similar like in some other markets, Uber drivers have faced different difficulties like threats, attacks even firing up the vehicle while the driver was in the car by their opponents.

Uber Croatia

Cammeo is well-known brand in Croatia and offers taxi service in Zagreb and few other cities but in Split they decided to offer “rent-a-car service with the driver”. They also bought around 30 brand new Dacia cars so every driver whether the driver is licenced taxi driver or non-licenced gets their branded car, software and marketing support. They launched in November 2016 but just after 2 weeks as stated on Index half of their vehicles were taken by inspection. As also written in another the article Cammeo said that they didn’t have the same treatment compared to Uber.

Regarding the statement of transportation minister Butković about Uber in Croatia and Cammeo in Split, beside giving fines to their drivers he announced that their vehicles will be confiscated but didn’t specify when.

Uber has issued the statement that drivers who use Uber follow all the rules in Croatia and pay the appropriate tax on the full amount of their ride price. Also, that Uber application connects checked drivers with riders who want safe ride and that this kind of model is different than auto taxi as this is car rental with driver. They also expressed hope that actual laws will be modernized in order to be according with recommendations of the European commission for the sharing economy and that Croatia will be reference country in that area too, after positive feedback from Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and Portugal.

Well-known Croatian entrepreneur Saša Cvetojević said that he thinks that the situation that after one year of Uber business in Croatia is said that they are not doing business legally shows all the weakness of administration and doing business in Croatia. He added that if this service is not legal it should have been treated that way from day one and if the Croatia wants to stimulate development of new business models during this time could have been implemented solution that would enable this kind of business model. Also, he said that due to the high season and Advent in Zagreb, with a lot of tourists, that this is the worst time to bring such decision.

Serbian job app Poslonaut won 2 awards in Austria

It seems that there is a big demand for job apps which target temporary/additional/student jobs. Many people are looking to find a job or extra job that they can do few hours per day. In our previous post we wrote about Polish app Jobsquare which gain traction very fast and as a result, got acquired.

PoslonautSimilar story is with job app Poslonaut from Serbia. They launched also in 2016 and gain traction in a short time. Infostud, the biggest job platform in Serbia, recognized big potential of the app and made a partnership with the Poslonaut team. They have now around 900 active ads and around 30 000 users in the app.

Not only Infostud recognized value of the Poslonaut app. They won 2 awards in Austria, as well. They became one of the winners in European Youth Awards (EYA)  which was held in Graz. They were winners in the Money Matters category. Other winners in other categories were VEASYT Live! (Connecting Cultures), Unimersiv (Smart Learning), Refugeeswork.at (Special Category 2016), Mira (Healthy Life), HAIZE the magic compass (Go Green), Fresh.land (Go Green), FreeCom (Active Citizenship), DayCape (Healthy Life), Be My Eyes (Healthy Life), Animal Hero Universe (Smart Learning), AdoptGrandFather.org (Active Citizenship).

Also,  experts from Business Chamber of Styria, Unit Consulting and IT, decided that among winners of EYA, Poslonaut app has the biggest market potential so they won the UBIT 2016 award.

Europe, Middle East and Africa startup blog

SEEMEA.com will start again on 01/12/2016

SEEMEA regionHi everyone, sorry for being silent for a too long time. We were busy with some other things but now decided to get back to SEEMEA project and make it even better that it was. SEEMEA will continue to cover business and technology news from the region of Southern and Eastern Europe Middle East and Africa (SEEMEA). We want to be the central hub for all people interested to do business in this, most likely one of the most exciting regions in the world. We are always open to get in touch with people who wants advice, who want to give us advice, with whom we can do some great things together…Also, if you want to write for SEEEMA or you have a company and want to make sure we don’t miss your important news, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to cover all interesting companies.

We suggest that you like our FB page on www.facebook.com/seemeadotcom and to follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/seemeadotcom in order not to miss new posts and all the relevent news from the SEEMEA region.

To your success in SEEMEA!