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STC Ventures invests in ikoo

Venture capital fund pumps $3m into UAE-based digital marketing firm

STC Ventures’ investment is aimed at funding various developments at ikoo.
STC Ventures’ investment is aimed at funding various developments at ikoo.

STC Ventures, a venture capital fund backed by Saudi Arabia's STC Group, has invested $3 million in ikoo, a UAE-based digital marketing company that operates in the MENA region.

STC Ventures' investment is aimed at funding various developments at ikoo including its video network, performance network, audience data and expansion plans. ikoo, which launched the region's first and only Arabic video network in Beta in late 2012, also announced plans to explore new markets and unveil new initiatives as part of its regional expansion strategy.

The investment and involvement of STC Ventures, which is managed by Iris Capital, reflects the huge potential offered by digital and video marketing across MENA.

Digital advertising spend in MENA is growing rapidly and analysts expect this trend to continue as brands shift more advertising spending online. Furthermore, overall ad spend per capita remains a fraction of spend per head in the US and Europe, which provides strong scope for further overall market growth.

Angus Paterson, Partner at STC Ventures, described ikoo as a leading platform in the regional online advertising space, with a strong position in core display advertising, that provides access and support to local publishers. "It is also at the forefront of developing new innovative advertising tools in fast growth areas such as performance, video and programmatic advertising," he said. "STC Ventures is delighted to announce this substantial investment in ikoo, in partnership with existing investors Jabbar Internet Group and Tiger Global, and together looks forward to providing financial and strategic support to the business in its future development."

Isam Bayazidi, CEO of ikoo, said: "This new partnership is expected to go a long way in reinforcing our market leadership across the region and beyond."