Tag Archives: featured

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”.

French startups to look out for

For several years France has been trying to become one of the most important startup basins in the world. The country offers Europe’s largest tax discount for research and development. There are 71 innovative clusters combining universities, private enterprises and research centers.

France already has several success stories. Among the most spectacular ones are BlaBlaCar, a service linking drivers having free seats in their vehicles with people looking for transportation, streaming service Deezer or manufacturer of thermostats Nest, bought by Google for an impressive sum of $3.2 billion. The below list presents these small French companies which are still not well known but deserve special attention for their innovation:

Happn – An application which uses current location of your phone to find and show you persons with whom your paths have crossed and potentially liked us. Of course, to be in the timeline presenting the people we passed, both persons have to use Happn. This is to be the solution for situations when our attention is drawn to the person sitting opposite us on the bus, but before we get the courage to speak to her, she gets off. Or when we liked someone we passed on the street. The idea appealed to the investors – in December 2014 the company managed to raise $8 million in the first round of financing.

Cookening – An American Airbnb-like platform which connects residents of a given city with tourists who would like to taste real local food. These “host” users create their own profiles on the site, where they publish photos of meals they have prepared to encourage potential visitors. Importantly, Cookening offers not only unique culinary experiences but also the possibility to engage in social interaction.

StarOfService – The platform connects local service providers with customers and allows them to adapt to their needs – price range, location or preferred time. After submitting an inquiry, the customer gets an email and he chooses which offer he wants to use. The service is available to users looking for local services tailored to their specific needs – from wedding photographers, plumbers, language teachers, DJs, to Pokemon Go trainers to hire. Last year, the startup raised $10 million from investors for further development.

Mention – The image of our company is built, among others, by the type of relationships we have with our clients. The faster we are able to react to consumer feedback, the better. The tool created by Mention startup not only informs users in real time about their company being mentioned on the internet, but also allows an immediate response to an article or post in social media. This ultra-fast media monitoring is already used by companies such as: Microsoft, Spotify and GitHub.

Russia may slow down internet to punish foreign Internet giants

Many foreign Internet firms avoid decisions of Russian courts and state bodies, bringing up the fact that they work under the laws of the countries in which they are registered. Russia came up with how to terminate this problem. Internet firms found guilty of breaking Russian law could soon see the speeds at which their websites load cut by the Russian authorities.

The idea was arose during discussion of the FAS case against Google. In February 2015, the FAS started an investigation against Google for the complaint from Yandex, which accused Google of performing anti-competitive practices. Russia acknowledged Google guilty of violating the law. Google was fined $7.4 million.

The new restrictions would target corporations which are able to avoid judgments from Russian courts because they are formally registered abroad. The initiative of the new law is in the final stages of approval and is being tested in the presidential administration.

But while mobile operators already have equipment in place to slow Internet speeds, other companies do not. Technically, it is much more complicated to realize than banning, especially for fixed-line operators who have a huge decentralized network. Mobile operators are easier to do this because they already have deep-packet inspection systems: they let consumers to access a part of the site by blocking or slowing down access to others. In case of companies, who don’t have such systems, its installation will need investments worth hundreds of millions of dollars. These complex and costly efforts would go to waste because users could use tools for avoiding such limitations. Operators are not enthusiastic about the initiative. They report negative impact of introduction of such legislative restrictions: subscribers would blame the crporations for slowing down access to Youtube or Facebook.

Enterprise EMEA conference in London

Enterprise EMEA 2017 will take place on May 23 in London. It is hosted by Widebridge Group, a boutique investment bank focused on M&A and capital raising for technology companies. Among the speakers and attendees there will be representatives from companies like: Microsoft, Gemalto, and SAP as well as investors from firms such as Atomico, Lakestar, Index Ventures, Dawn Capital, KKR, and Blackstone.

Enterprise EMEA is an invite-only conference focused on enterprise software. It is meant for leaders in enterprise technology to connect, show their ideas and talk about industry trends. Attendees include the top EMEA region enterprise technology firms from growth to later stage, decision makers of top EMEA enterprises, top VC and private equity investors, and M&A managers of the world’s biggest technology firms.

According to the organizers, there is a lack of enterprise software events which enclose the whole enterprise. Therefore the event will be focused on enterprise technology – for startups, investors, and the ultimate buyers of these companies to all meet to raise more investments, more knowledge exchange and more contracts.

Many firms which participated in the conference last year have raised large rounds of funding or exited with big acquisitions over the last 12 months, such as London’s Weaveworks, which raised $15 million last May from Google Ventures and Accel, or PNMsoft, which was acquired by Genpact.