9. September 2013–
Rocket Internet's online food ordering platform Hellofood has announced an $8m investment from iMENA Holdings. Already live in Saudi Arabia, the new partnership will help Hellofood expand to other countries in the Middle East.
So far, Hellofood is available in 28 countries across Latin America, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. In total, Hellofood and Foodpanda, its equivalent in other markets, have raised more than $20m from a number of investors including Investment AB Kinnevik and Phenomen Ventures. Rocket Internet claims that its deal with iMENA Holdings is one of the largest equity investments in the online industry in the Middle East.
Eyad Alkassar, Managing Director for Rocket Internet in the Middle East, said: "The Middle East is bursting with online businesses, many of which have the potential to be the next success story of the year. Moreover, our newly formed partnership with iMENA Holdings gives us the strategic opportunity of becoming a major part of the expected growth of online businesses."
With a focus on the Middle East and North Africa, iMENA Holdings has three main activities: invests in consumer internet companies, builds companies and establishes partnerships with global and regional players to help them grow their businesses in the area.
The partnership makes sense for Rocket Internet – its business model centres on launching internet companies in countries where it faces little competition. So far, the company builder has just dipped its toes in the Middle Eastern market, last year Amazon copycat Jumia expanded to Egypt while online fashion and electronics store Namshi is available in the United Arab Emirates.
Image credit: Flickr user .Bala
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