Cobone.com discount site to launch before Eid

Site sees about a 1,000 registrations a day as they get closer to launching their deals

Tags: Cobone (www.cobone.com)E-commerceEconomicalJabbar Internet GroupUnited Arab Emirates
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Cobone.com discount site to launch before Eid "I have no doubt that the entire region will sign up...who wouldn’t want 90% off a great experience in their city?" - Paul Kenny, CEO of Cobone.com
By  Vineetha Menon Published  August 24, 2010

Middle Eastern e-commerce giant Jabbar Internet Group will launch their discount group-buying website Cobone.com before Ramadan.

Cobone is seeing 500 to 1,000 registrations a day as they get closer to launching their deals.

"Cobone.com went live in June and has seen huge numbers sign up so far. The buzz around Cobone has been really exciting," said Paul Kenny, CEO of Cobone. "What sets the Middle East apart from the western world is a culture of bartering. Negotiating for a better price is something that comes naturally in the region and traditionally this culture has mainly been enjoyed offline."

Cobone, a play on the word coupon, will launch in the United Arab Emirates first before expanding to every city in the Middle East and beyond. It has already signed big discounts with leading restaurants, spas, hotels and experiences, but won't reveal names just yet.

The idea for the site came about during a discussion between Kenny and Jabbar Group chairman Samih Toukan, when both realised it was the perfect time to bring a group-buying concept based on the penetration and popularity of the internet in the region.

"Everybody loves a discount and what Cobone brings is one great deal every day of the week with up to 90% off the best things to do and see in your city," stated Kenny.

Users also receive a bonus AED 25 each time a friend purchases a deal through their referral, which creates the potential, over time, to take advantage of deals on the site without having to pay out of their own pockets.

The Cobone team has invested heavily to make sure the site remains secure, with payment options including full credit card functionality, PayPal, CashU and even cash for added convenience.

There's more to making a new business venture successful though and Cobone.com faces stiff competition from GoNabit.com, which was launched earlier in the year by entrepreneurs Dan Stuart and Sohrab Jahanbani, venture-backed by Bayt.com.

Regional market knowledge, resources, technology and customer care are core areas that can make or break businesses particularly in the MENA region, Kenny explained. He's convinced they've got that covered and being associated with the well-established Jabbar Internet Group is a definite plus.

"Being part of Jabbar has been an excellent base for Cobone to launch within the region. You are going to see some very exciting partnerships between the Jabbar entities which Cobone will be doing in the coming months so make sure to sign up. Jabbar who recently sold Maktoob to Yahoo! has a wealth of intelligence and with Cobone partnering with our International partners we have no doubt Cobone will be a huge success in the region," he said.

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