| 17 September, 2017

CORRECTION: Online travel firm Wego raises funding from Alabbar-backed MEVP

Investment will help travel portal’s rollout across the MENA region, according to its co-founder

Ross Veitch, Wego CEO & co-founder.

Ross Veitch, Wego CEO & co-founder.

WEGO/handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya
(The headline of this article was changed to reflect the fact that Mohammad Alabbar is not the owner, but a substantial investor in MEVP).

Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) has announced its first funding deal since Emaar Properties' chairman, Mohamed Alabbar, became a major investor in the business in May this year.

The company has taken a stake in travel portal Wego as part of its ongoing co-investment deals with broadcaster MBC Group. It said that the investment was made as part of Wego's latest equity funding round, which took place in July, but it did not reveal the amount of money that was invested, nor the size of the stake it has acquired.

Wego is a travel portal and app that was initially founded in Singapore in 2005 but is now co-headquartered in Singapore and Dubai after growing its footprint across the Middle East and North Africa, the company said.

It offers flight and hotel bookings both through its website and smartphone apps, and has a travel comparison service. The company said it achieves more than 10 million monthly visits and works with about 700 hotels, airlines and online travel agencies.

“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,” said Ross Veitch, Wego CEO & co-founder.

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 behavior from offline to online.

"Wego is capitalising on such favourable market dynamics and is already a leading travel brand," he added.

MEVP, which has offices in Dubai and Beirut, has previously co-invested with MBC Group on three other deals, including music streaming site Anghami and games developer Falafel Games.

© Zawya 2017