Wego, the largest online travel marketplace across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, and Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), a leading venture capital firm focused on the region, announced that MEVP invested in Wego, in exchange for an equity ownership.
MEVP is investing in Wego as part of the company’s latest equity round alongside MBC Group (Middle East Broadcasting Centre), which had announced an investment and strategic partnership with Wego in July. MEVP will draw on its roots and heritage in Mena to reinforce and expand Wego’s regional footprint.
Wego was founded in Singapore in 2005 but is now dual-headquartered in Dubai and Singapore after recording rapid growth across Mena. Wego entered the region early by launching a fully localized experience just in time to meet the demand from a new generation of travellers wanting to shop for and book flights and hotels on their smartphones. Wego quickly grew to become the most popular and trusted travel comparison service in the region with over 10 million monthly visits by collaborating with over 700 local and global airlines, hotels and online travel agents.
“With Wego’s rapid Mena expansion we decided to seek out smart investors from the region who have deep experience and connections and in MEVP we’ve definitely found that and more,” commented Ross Veitch, Wego CEO & co-founder. “I welcome the MEVP investment and I look forward to working with the team at MEVP as we develop Wego’s business across the Mena region.”
Walid Hanna, MEVP founder and CEO, added, “Online travel in Mena is a large vertical and continues to grow rapidly aided by a shift in consumer behaviour from offline to online. Wego is capitalising on such favourable market dynamics and is already a leading travel brand that is highly recognised by travellers in the region, especially Saudi Arabia. We are also pleased to have media giant MBC onboard as a strategic partner with whom we have had three other successful partnerships on other platforms. Wego has an exciting growth plan and with the support of MBC and MEVP, we believe it is well positioned to dominate the travel metasearch play in Mena.”
MEVP is the pioneer and largest VC firm in the Mena region with offices in Dubai and Beirut. MEVP recently announced an investment by Mohamed Alabbar, founder and chairman of Emaar Properties, into MEVP.
MEVP joins existing Wego investors including Tiger Global Management, Crescent Point Group and Square Peg Capital. Dubai-based investment bank Arqaam Capital helped facilitate the transaction.
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