EX-VP Yahoo Maktoob Ahmed Nassef Closes $825,000 Seed Funding Round for Social TV App Vyu
Vyu, Inc., a company developing a personalized guide to entertainment that helps viewers follow, share and discover TV and video via their mobile devices, today announced it has raised $825,000 in seed funding to continue developing its products and launch its apps globally beginning with the US and Middle East markets. Jabbar Internet Group led the round with additional investors from the technology and media industries participating.
“We look to invest in businesses that address the significant shifts in consumer behavior,” said Samih Toukan, Jabbar Internet Group chairman. “In addition to the US market, high growth markets such as India, the Middle East and Latin America represent the sweet-spot for the future of social TV, given the skyrocketing growth in smartphone penetration, strong social engagement, and some of the highest TV and video consumption rates in the world.”
Vyu is led by founder and CEO Ahmed Nassef, a longtime Internet executive who previously served as Vice President and Managing Director of Yahoo! Middle East & Africa from 2009-2013. Nassef’s previous venture was as head of Maktoob.com, the Arabic web-portal founded by Jabbar’s Samih Toukan and Hussam Khoury. The company grew to become the region’s leading Arabic web destination with an audience of more than 16 million users before being acquired by Yahoo! in 2009 for $164 million.
“I invested in Vyu because the company is able to play a central role in the smartphone boom that is happening in untapped markets, bringing huge potential for growth,” said Keith Nilsson, an angel investor and new board member. Nilsson is currently Managing Partner of Visionnaire Ventures, and was previously a partner and strategic advisor for TPG, one of the world’s largest global alternative investment firms. His background also includes overseeing global initiatives and emerging markets for Yahoo! for over a decade.
Added Nassef: “We couldn’t be more excited to have the support and guidance from a renowned group of investors and board members, and are delighted to open an office in Dubai — a gateway to the Middle East. Collectively, their contributions will help guide us toward becoming the leader in providing an unparalleled social TV experience for viewers in untapped markets.”