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UAE’s Tech App Zbooni Closes $1.1 Million In New Funding Round

Amany Zaher
UAE’s Tech App Zbooni Closes $1.1 Million In New Funding RoundAshraf Atia and Ramy Assaf, co-founders of Zbooni. Image from source.

Dubai-Based Tech App Zbooni has raised $1.1 million in its latest funding round from Chalhoub Group and B&Y Venture Partners.

Founded in 2017, Zbooni is a chat commerce platform, enabling merchants to sell products via preferred social media and chat services. The app is designed specifically for the needs of merchants in a social first era, helping them convert sales through easy payment with customers via services such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook.

The company was one of only eight companies across the world, and the only one from the Middle East, to take part in a six-month incubator programme at Facebook, the world’s largest social media network. 

The new investments will be used to grow the business, which is handling millions of dirhams of sale transactions monthly through its connected chat commerce app.

 “Business is increasingly done through WhatsApp and social media services such as Instagram and Facebook. We see strong demand from businesses in the UAE for this service, with the transaction volumes consistently growing at above 30% month-on-month. Transacting millions of dirhams of sales every month was a key milestone for us as the business continues to expand,” said Ramy Assaf, CEO of Zbooni.

Zbooni predicts that, by transacting payments via connected chats that are currently not being captured online, it is addressing a multi-billion-dollar market—especially as there are around 3.5 million SMEs in the MENA region alone.

The app was entirely developed by an in-house team, and paired to a trusted payment gateway (Payfort), which is the same credit card processing used by ecommerce giants such as Amazon and Souq. Stripe was also added recently, as a payment gateway option.

Zbooni merchants see higher conversion on their sales funnel when using the app, as there is an 84% chance of closing a transaction between the merchant and customer, while the conversion rate is around 2% on Self-service e-commerce sites.

I'm a researcher at Forbes Middle East, Cairo-office, covering business news, Global and local startups and Under 30 in both languages English and Arabic. Also, I do participate in Forbes Middle East’s Lists including Forbes Middle East 30 Under 30, Top 100 Startups, Most influential women, to name a few. I studied Economics and political science at Cairo University and I had a diploma in Analysis of Securities Markets, also I have attended Barclays Data journalism training workshop at the School of Journalism and Media studies, Rhodes University in South Africa.

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