Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – BinDawood Holding Co. (Tadawul: 4161 and the “Company”), through its wholly owned subsidiary, Future Technology Retail (“FTR”), a technology and retail solutions investment company, announces the acquisition of an 80.5% stake in Ykone, a subsidiary of TF1 Group, a French leader in content production, publishing and distribution. The transaction will be completed through FTR’s newly established French subsidiary company.

Ykone is a profitable international influencer marketing agency with a proprietary technology offering, focused on travel, beauty, fashion and luxury brands, with a presence in Europe, Asia, the US and the Middle East. It provides end to end services on strategy, talent management, content production and monitoring to more than 200 leading brands across the globe including the MENA region. The strategic investment will position BinDawood Holding to maximize on the growth of retail ecommerce through digital marketing, and to further deepen its e-commerce value chain.

In turn, Ykone will benefit from the financial and commercial support of BinDawood Holding to further improve its technological platform, to diversify into other industry segments and verticals and to gain deeper access to the Middle East markets where it has already achieved some success and penetration. Influencer marketing is now considered to be at the heart of e-commerce and is set to grow to approximately $16.4 billion in 20221, with the Middle East witnessing growing social media influencer activity because of its young demographic profile and the high penetration of smart phone users.

Ahmad AR. BinDawood, Chief Executive Officer, BinDawood Holding, said: “The acquisition of Ykone represents another important milestone in Future Technology Retail’s ambition to invest in all segments of the retail e-commerce value chain. Social influencer marketing has accelerated worldwide due to a change in consumer habits following the pandemic. The Middle East’s influencer marketing industry is growing exponentially. This investment in cutting-edge marketing technology and a trusted, full-service agency, with a global and local footprint, will strengthen the growth of our business and enhance our focus and nimbleness in making informed marketing decisions for our Danube and BinDawood brands, whilst providing a platform to Ykone for accelerated growth in the Middle East and beyond.”

Olivier Billon, Founder & CEO, Ykone, commented: “Ykone’s ability to provide an integrated full-service influencer marketing solution across strategy execution, production and data analyses, with strong expertise in the retail space, is unparalleled. We stand for constant innovation, allowing us to act as a creative powerhouse among the influencer marketing agency ecosystem. We provide a tailored solution to every client with a focus on quality content development. With a studio in Dubai and offices in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, we are well placed to respond to the needs of these rapidly growing markets. This partnership with BinDawood Holding marks a milestone in the incredible growth and success we have achieved to date and will propel our growth across the Gulf States in the retail, travel, tourism and entertainment sectors.”

FTR has the option to buy an additional 4.9% of shares in Ykone with the balance be held by the Founder and key management, who will continue to remain heavily involved in driving its growth and profitability.

The Board of Directors of BinDawood Holding and the shareholders of Ykone have approved the transaction, which is expected to close shortly.

BinDawood Holding has a long legacy of embracing innovation and technology in the grocery retail space and is considered a pioneer in e-grocery shopping across Saudi Arabia. The Company was a first mover in the e-grocery market by launching the Danube Online and Danube App in 2017, which has become one of the leading ecommerce grocery platforms in the Kingdom. It then launched the BinDawood App in 2019, to further cater to the unmet online shopping needs in the Kingdom by providing users a smooth, reliable and secure service.

Further information about the transaction is available on the Investor Relations section of the BinDawood Holding website,

  1. The state of influencer marketing 2022, Influencer Marketing Hub