Media firm Jabbar snaps up Dubai’s Cobone.com
Cobone raised undisclosed amount of second-round funding from Jabbar
Jordanian media company Jabbar Internet Group has taken full control of Dubai discount coupon website Cobone.com, in the latest in a series of investment in Gulf internet firms
Cobone said Sunday it had raised an undisclosed amount of second-round funding from Jabbar, after the company bought out a minority shareholder.
The takeover and additional capital will allow Cobone to significantly grow its operations, its founder and CEO told Arabian Business.
"We're going to start hiring much more people. Since the fund has closed we've hired an additional 40 people. We're about 80 [staff] now, I'd say we'll be two and a half times that by the end of the year," said Paul Kenny.
Cobone is billed as the Middle East's largest daily deal website with 600,000 members.
"We're going to upscale operations in every country. To date we have six offices in the region, we have people in all and we plan on expanding in each country. We also plan on offering new products," Kenny said.
Group buying websites, which offer limited-life, no-strings discounts on items ranging from spa treatments to meals and hotel stays, have gained traction in the Middle East as merchants look to them to bolster their sales in the wake of the global downturn.
US group buying website LivingSocial last month acquired Dubai-based GoNabit for an undisclosed amount. GoNabit plans to expand across the Middle East and triple its number of staff following the acquisition, its founder told Arabian Business.
UAE-based Groupon, which claimed 50 million subscribers at the start of the year, rejected a reported $5bn takeover bid from Google last year. The firm, despite being unprofitable, could be valued as much as $20bn in its planned IPO, analysts have said.