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In what is one of the past few years’ disclosed media company acquisitions in Africa, Egypt’s RiseUp has taken full control over Middle East and North Africa-focused tech publication MENAbytes.
The financial details of the deal remain undisclosed, and the acquisition includes trackMENA, the media Saudi-based firm’s new data tracking platform.
MENAbytes was founded in 2017 by Zubair Naeem Paracha, who is reportedly the company’s only employee. The firm is currently one of the leading startup media outlets in the MENA region. It recently expanded coverage to Pakistan, and has its eyes set on adding Turkey and other emerging markets.
RiseUp is the company behind one of the leading entrepreneurship events in the MENA region. In December 2018, the firm raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding in a round led by Endure Capital with participation from Enara Capital, 500 Startups and Kamelizer. Founded in 2013 by Abdelhameed Sharara, RiseUp connects MENA-based startups to relevant global services.
The platform recently ventured into designing and organization events on behalf of third parties. This is the company that assisted the government of Saudi Arabia put together the Hajj Hackathon in early 2018. The event broke the Guinness World Record and emerged the largest hackathon in the world, hosting no less than 3,000 participants.
The deal sees Zubair joining RiseUp while retaining the leadership of MENAbytes, trackMENA and the company’s other digital platforms. MENAbytes will remain an independent media publication while integrating the digital content arm of RiseUp to strengthen its digital presence and reach in MENA.
MENAbytes’ extensive network and resources will be used by the investor to design a fully-integrated platform specifically for RiseUp’s community of startups.
Zubair Naeem Paracha: “I am very excited about becoming a part of RiseUp and working with Abdelhameed and the brilliant team there especially because of their vision of building a platform to offer every online and offline resource that an entrepreneur may need to grow their startup in MENA.”
“Partnering up with RiseUp will open many new avenues for MENAbytes and trackMENA to build the largest startup news and data platform for the emerging markets,” he added.
Abdelhameed Sharara, RiseUp’s CEO, said, “We’re immeasurably excited about the opportunities MENAbytes will offer RiseUp. The acquisition, and working with Zubair, is the first big step in our vision of being a one-stop-shop for the entire spectrum of resources entrepreneurs and startups need to grow.”
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