500 Startups, Fadi Ghandour, Bayt.com CEO Invest In Local Review Site Jeeran
500 Startups, the Silicon Valley-based venture capital seed fund and
startup accelerator that helps grow startups and get them on track to success, has investments in over 20 countries, and just announced its first in the Arab World, one it hopes will be of many.
The start up is the local reviews site Jeeran, a reviews platform
based in Jordan covering several cities in the emerging world with
focus on Saudi Arabia and Jordan at this point. With tens of thousands of reviews and hundreds of thousands of local listings, Jeeran helps people better interact with places in their cities. It is a platform that is local, mobile, and social. Jeeran is similar to Yelp.com in the US.
Jeeran says that it keep a strong “offline” presence in its markets, maintaining hands-on engagement with local communities and business owners to facilitate data acquisition. It helps small and midsize business have a presence online he majority of over a quarter million places listed on Jeeran had no online presence previously.
The investment from 500 Startups will help connect Jeeran to over 160 mentors around the world, whom Jeeran intends to leverage as it
continues to scale and improve its services. Omar Koudsi, Co-founder of Jeeran says “Jeeran is looking forward to collaborating with 500 Startups to help develop its internal capabilities, and will be sending some of our team members to train in Silicon Valley, where 500 Startups is based”. David Mcclure founder of 500 Startups, is enthusiastic “We’re super excited about Jeeran and its proposition to the emerging world, We’re ready to blow up startups in the MENA region”.
Other investors that took part in this round are Fadi Ghandour, the
founder of Aramex and Chairman of ArabCrunch competitor which US government linked Wamda, and Rabie Ataya, the founder of Middle East recruitment platform Bayt.com. They join Accelerator Technology Holdings, Intel Capital, and Seedcamp among others as investors.
Jeeran says that this round comes as part of preparing Jeeran for an aggressive expansion strategy across the Arab World and Asia in the coming year.
Amount and terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Jeeran started around the years 2000 as geocities for the Arab world and pivoted many times like blogging and social networking, its latest offering of becoming local places review destination should me met with strong mobile app, as the future is going mobile.