Akama Holding, the Dubai-based family office with investments in media, tech and content, has welcomed Near, the leading privacy-led source of intelligence on people, places and products, as an investor in its data-driven marketing solutions company MEmob+. The Singapore-based data intelligence specialist has taken a minority stake in a deal that values the company at more than AED 91 million ($25 million).
Founded in 2019 by Alexandre Hawari, today the CEO of Akama Holding, and Ihab El Yaman, the then Head of Mobile and Performance Director of Mediaquest, MEmob+ is a leading data mining platform and location-driven product. Its clients, top brands and agencies, rely on its services and data sources to harness their data for growth and maximize their marketing ROI.
The MarTech company has exclusive partnerships with global and regional first-party data holders, giving it access to billions of device IDs globally, including more than 400 million in MENA. MEmob+ supports brands’ data-driven media activities, location measurement and footfall attribution, research and analysis. Its client portfolio includes more than 50 major international and regional clients seeking to improve the precision, performance and effectiveness of their marketing investments through the optimal use of data. It counts Near among its strategic technology partners.
Near is the global leader in privacy-led data intelligence. The company provides the world’s largest source of intelligence on people, places, and products—processing data from over 1.6 billion monthly users in 44 countries. Founded in 2012, Near is headquartered in Singapore with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Bangalore, Tokyo and Sydney.
This is Near’s first equity stake in the Middle East. It is the result of one year of research and negotiations to find the best partner with which to expand in the Middle East and Africa (MEA). The cash-in transaction will see the funds injected into the business to accelerate its growth and development even further by increasing its customer base, backing product extension and supporting geographical expansion. The negotiations took place at the end of 2019/early 2020. Though the company value was set at that time, the legal formalities were significantly delayed by the Covid-19 restrictions, meaning the deal can only be announced now.
MEmob+ has grown significantly in the interim. In 2020, its second year in operation, MEmob’s turnover grew by 76 per cent. Led by co-founder and CEO Ihab El Yaman, the team behind this exceptional growth will continue to build on its already impressive track record of performance and innovation. Anil Mathews, CEO of Near, will join MEmob’s board of directors.
“Near, a global giant in the data intelligence market, and MEmob+, a regional leader, were destined to find a common ground and a shared ambition,” commented Alexandre Hawari, CEO of Akama Holding. “Our technical collaboration has now evolved into a financial one. Together, we will capitalise on the attractive growth dynamics in the emerging markets in MEA to further build out MEmob’s leadership position and create the leading global location data intelligence platform. With Near as an equity partner, MEmob+ is entering a new phase of growth.”
“Our investment in MEmob+ is at the intersection of our core values at Near, innovation and scale,” said Anil Mathews, CEO of Near. “We’ve watched them grow, in size and sophistication, and realised the opportunities that would come from a closer collaboration. We focus on partners with high growth and world-class management and are impressed by the leading position MEmob+ has built. We’re very excited by the synergies that exist between our two companies.”
“This is a very exciting time to be in data, with supply and demand skyrocketing. The opportunities are growing exponentially, and this stronger partnership will allow us to explore and expand further together,” added Ihab El Yaman, co-founder and CEO of MEmob+. “With new moves with blockchain technology and the combination of our expertise in data and insights, I look forward to the opening of a new era in digital marketing, in the Middle East and beyond.”