LIVINGSOCIAL-GONABIT DEAL MARKS FIRST E-COMMERCE ACQUISITION FOR MIDDLE EAST
Dubai, UAE, 28 June 2011 – The acquisition of GoNabit.com, the Middle East’s original group-buying website, by LivingSocial, the online source for handpicked experiences at a great value, marks a milestone development for the region’s e-commerce industry. The deal is the first large-scale acquisition of an e-commerce company in the Middle East and signals further market maturity as one of the world’s leading local commerce brands enters the region. Under the new agreement, GoNabit will become a LivingSocial company.
Approached by several international group-buying players, GoNabit chose to partner with LivingSocial because of a clear alignment with the company’s vision and values. With a shared mission to create exciting and affordable experiences for members and valuable new marketing opportunities for merchant partners, GoNabit says the acquisition enables them to better serve their stakeholders and continue to pioneer e-commerce in the Middle East.
“GoNabit’s acquisition by LivingSocial is a milestone in the development of e-commerce in the Middle East. E-commerce is in its infancy in this region and the entry of prominent global player LivingSocial signals the next phase of the industry’s development here,” said Dan Stuart, CEO and Co-founder, GoNabit.com.
“Our acquisition by LivingSocial has really strengthened our ability and resolve to continue being the best group-buying website in the region. Both Dan Stuart and I will remain in our respective roles for the foreseeable future and all GoNabit staff have been retained,” added Sohrab Jahanbani, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder, GoNabit.com.
“As with previous acquisitions, LivingSocial has again chosen to align with a local company that possesses similar values and ways of doing business. We are excited to enter the dynamic Middle East market and further strengthen our strategic global efforts to bring LivingSocial values to members across the globe,” said Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO and co-founder, LivingSocial.
GoNabit was co-founded by Dan Stuart and Sohrab Jahanbani in January 2010, with investment and support from Bayt.com, the Middle East’s leading job site.
Speaking about the acquisition, Akram Assaf, Chief Technology Officer of Bayt.com said, “I extend my congratulations to the truly dedicated GoNabit team for their success story. We at Bayt.com are proud to have been a part of a business that allows people to live their lifestyle of choice and we are eager to be involved in more innovative ventures in the future.”
Headquartered in Dubai, with local offices in all its markets – Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Amman and Cairo - the company has recently announced popular new deal verticals catering to specific interests. Dubai Family, dedicated to providing fun deals suitable for children and parents alike, and the pan-city GoNabit Getaways website which offers exciting holiday deals and travel packages are both enjoying a growing popularity. In addition to being the first group-buying website in the Middle East, GoNabit is the first company of its kind to offer deals in Arabic. Members in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Dubai, Beirut, Cairo and Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman have saved more than $5 million USD in the past year.
LivingSocial also announced its launch in The Netherlands; the acquisition of Ensogo, a leading daily deal website in the Philippines and Thailand; and DealKeren, an Ensogo company based in Indonesia. Along with the GoNabit deal, these two new acquisitions and the Netherlands launch bring the total number of countries in which LivingSocial operates to 21. The company’s reach now spans six of the seven continents.