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Al Bawaba restructures

Al Bawaba.com is emerging from a three-month restructuring that has seen the company cull half its workforce on the back of weaker than expected advertising revenues.

Al Bawaba.com is emerging from a three-month restructuring that has seen the company cull half its workforce.

The Arabic/English news portal, which last year secured venture capital funding of $8.15 million, said it had to diversify its revenue stream as it had yet to make a profit. This in addition to the fact the too much was being spent on content and the market was not buying or syndicating. “Ironically, once we did the restructuring we began to get requests for syndication and we have entered into several agreements,” said Hani Jabsheh, director for Al Bawaba.

Jabsheh, says the future plan is for only 15% of the company’s revenue to come from advertising. The rest will be generated from selling technology solutions like content management systems and from syndicating content. The company is currently negotiating a deal with a bank to supply their content management solutions. “We are not just a portal, we offer a complete suite of products,” said Jabsheh.

The company, which is already backed by New York-based venture capitalist THCG, as well as by TFG and Middle East Internet Holdings, says it is trying to raise additional capital. This funding will be pumped into expanding Al Bawaba’s sales and marketing efforts in the GCC and Egpyt, according to Jabsheh.

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