(Updated) Confirmed: LivingSocial Nabs UAE Group Buying Startup GoNabit

27 Jun, 2011

Updated: below the post.

Dan Stuart CEO & founder of GoNabit confirmed that LivingSocial has acquired GoNabit. He told ArabCrunch that LivingSocial does not want to disclose terms of the deal.

He said “we have high plans and high expectation and we will expand to new markets” GoNabit is now a LivingSocial company “and likely down the road we will take their brand as they have awesome technology.” But he did not specify when.

Update: GoNabit sent us the acquisition  announcement press release here it is:

LivingSocial-GONABIT DEAL MARKS First E-COMMERCE ACQUISITION FOR MIDDLE EAST

Regional market set to mature with entry of world-leading local commerce brand

Dubai, UAE, 28 June 2011 – The acquisition of GoNabit.com, the Middle East’s original group-buying website, by LivingSocial, the online source for handpicked experiences at a great value, marks a milestone development for the region’s e-commerce industry. The deal is the first large-scale acquisition of an e-commerce company in the Middle East and signals further market maturity as one of the world’s leading local commerce brands enters the region. Under the new agreement, GoNabit will become a LivingSocial company.

Approached by several international group-buying players, GoNabit chose to partner with LivingSocial because of a clear alignment with the company’s vision and values. With a shared mission to create exciting and affordable experiences for members and valuable new marketing opportunities for merchant partners, GoNabit says the acquisition enables them to better serve their stakeholders and continue to pioneer e-commerce in the Middle East.

“GoNabit’s acquisition by LivingSocial is a milestone in the development of e-commerce in the Middle East. E-commerce is in its infancy in this region and the entry of prominent global player LivingSocial signals the next phase of the industry’s development here,” said Dan Stuart, CEO and Co-founder, GoNabit.com.

“Our acquisition by LivingSocial has really strengthened our ability and resolve to continue being the best group-buying website in the region. Both Dan Stuart and I will remain in our respective roles for the foreseeable future and all GoNabit staff have been retained,” added Sohrab Jahanbani, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder, GoNabit.com.

“As with previous acquisitions, LivingSocial has again chosen to align with a local company that possesses similar values and ways of doing business. We are excited to enter the dynamic Middle East market and further strengthen our strategic global efforts to bring LivingSocial values to members across the globe,” said Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO and co-founder, LivingSocial.

GoNabit was co-founded by Dan Stuart and Sohrab Jahanbani in January 2010, with investment and support from Bayt.com, the Middle East’s leading job site.

Speaking about the acquisition, Akram Assaf, Chief Technology Officer of Bayt.com said, “I extend my congratulations to the truly dedicated GoNabit team for their success story. We at Bayt.com are proud to have been a part of a business that allows people to live their lifestyle of choice and we are eager to be involved in more innovative ventures in the future.”

Headquartered in Dubai, with local offices in all its markets – Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Amman and Cairo – the company has recently announced popular new deal verticals catering to specific interests. Dubai Family, dedicated to providing fun deals suitable for children and parents alike, and the pan-city GoNabit Getaways website which offers exciting holiday deals and travel packages are both enjoying a growing popularity. In addition to being the first group-buying website in the Middle East, GoNabit is the first company of its kind to offer deals in Arabic. Members in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Dubai, Beirut, Cairo and Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman have saved more than $5 million USD in the past year.

LivingSocial also announced its launch in The Netherlands; the acquisition of Ensogo, a leading daily deal website in the Philippines and Thailand; and DealKeren, an Ensogo company based in Indonesia. Along with the GoNabit deal, these two new acquisitions and the Netherlands launch bring the total number of countries in which LivingSocial operates to 21. The company’s reach now spans six of the seven continents.

Terms of the deals were not released.

Shoppers can continue to save and discover on www.gonabit.com.

About LivingSocial

LivingSocial adds surprise to every calendar with handpicked daily deals you can share with friends. Members enjoy at least 50% off on the coolest, local experiences. Local business owners get an easy and cost effective marketing tool to attract new, loyal customers. In 2010, one of the fastest growing companies in the space expanded with LivingSocial Escapes offering easy weekend trips at great value. In April, LivingSocial has unveiled Instant Deals – real-time, mobile offerings delivered via members smart phones featuring deals within .5 miles of their location. Based in Washington, DC, the international brand and has saved nearly 30 million subscribers more than half a billion dollars in 21 countries on 6 continents.

About GoNabit

GoNabit is an online marketing company that uses the power of social commerce to nab unbeatable discounts of between 50-90 per cent on things to see, eat and do in the cities in which it operates. It was the first group buying website to launch in the Middle East and offers businesses a risk-free customer-creation engine. GoNabit was founded in 2010 by experienced entrepreneurs Dan Stuart and Sohrab Jahanbani and is majority-owned and supported by Bayt.com, the number one job site in the Middle East. GoNabit has the highest level of Verisign’s SSL encryption and is also the first company in the UAE to have its database management verified by TRUSTe.

Each day subscribers to GoNabit get the opportunity to purchase an unbeatable deal on something cool to do in their city. To successfully “nab” the deal, it must first tip – the point at which a minimum agreed number of purchasers opts into buying the deal.  Once the tipping point is achieved and the deal goes live, any GoNabit subscriber can purchase it. The deal is available for 24 to 48 hours, or 72 hours for weekend deals.

For more information visit: www.gonabit.com

###

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  1. Group Buying Giant Acquires UAE Startup GoNabit and Indonesian Startup DealKeren - ArabCrunch  |  June 27th, 2011 at 5:22 PM #

    [...] Update: the deal is confirmed. [...]

  2. sara  |  June 28th, 2011 at 9:40 AM #

    sorry but this info above is soo uslesss i mean its not enough to write an article about it y dont u just tweet it
    we want more d3etails or else wait till the full news is out then write about it

    no??

  3. Gaith Saqer  |  June 28th, 2011 at 4:30 PM #

    Sorry dear sara. I did update it now and we will have Q&A with the team soon.

    Many thanks

  4. Arabic Twitter Competitor WatWet Puls the Plug - ArabCrunch  |  July 1st, 2011 at 4:46 PM #

    [...] startups. However it works in some markets like group buying where GoNabit copied groupon and ended being sold to LivingSocial as they had the local advantage that LivingSocial did not [...]

  5. abdo  |  July 2nd, 2011 at 10:14 PM #

    thanx gaith .. i think the war between Groupon & LivingSocial reached our door .. thanx for the “useful ” info

  6. Norman @ Chicago Daily Deals  |  August 8th, 2011 at 6:16 AM #

    As company names go, the UAE group-buying website GoNabit has a moniker that is almost too perfect – capturing the snatch-a-deal theme that sees thousands. … The LivingSocial logo has cropped up on the GoNabit website and Stuart will readily admit that as it migrates towards its new owner’s technology the brands will merge even further in future.

  7. Jordanian e-commerce startup MarakaVIP gets $10 Million in series B funding - ArabCrunch  |  April 26th, 2012 at 12:17 PM #

    [...] is taking off after several years. Last year group buying site GoNabit which was founded in UAE was acquired by LivingSocial for a price around $10 [...]

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