Bayt.com to reveal big name VC backers at Gitex

Bayt's Mona Ataya believes the company's 'lifestyle engineering' portal offers a winning dot.com business formula.

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By  David Ingham Published  October 19, 2000

A portal that could prove to be unique on several fronts will formally launch at this month's Gitex IT exhibition.

For starters, Bayt.com is probably the Middle East's first self declared 'lifestyle engineering' site, on top of which it's founded by a group of over educated young Arabs with degrees from top Western universities, and in addition to which it's got backing from two institutional VCs.

The identity of the two VCs won't be revealed until Gitex, but VP of marketing, Mona Ataya, confirmed that one is a major international VC and the other a local institution.

Never mind that though. What exactly is lifestyle engineering? "The objective is to empower people to build their lifestyle of choice," says Ataya. "There are two ways you build your lifestyle of choice."

On the one hand that means a recruitment service with seriously sophisticated features, including a template that lets you put together an online CV in minutes.

On the other, there's content, focused on weighty issues of the day and put together from various sources around the world to try to give people in the Middle East a balanced world view. Plus, there's career and recruitment information, as well as discussion forums that will be open and frank.

Bayt's recruitment feature is totally free for job seekers and up to a point for employers. Employers can search databases of candidates' CVs for free and pay a fixed fee once they decide they want to know a person's identity and follow up with him. Bayt's revenue will be driven almost entirely by these fees and the company says it won't be reliant on online advertising to survive.

Ataya says feedback from recruitment departments has been positive and she's not put off by recent dot.com failures. "This is a winner," she says. "We fundamentally believe in the strength of this and for us to leave our respective industries is evidence of that."

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