MBC (Middle East Broadcasting Center), the leading multimedia company of MENA has invested in travel startup Wego which has dual headquarters in Singapore & Dubai, and claims to be the largest travel marketplace in MENA. Even though the terms of deal have not been made public, Gulf Business has reported $12 million-investment by MBC. The broadcaster will use its different platforms to promote Wego’s website and mobile applications.
Co-founded in 2005 by Craig Hewett & Ross Veitch in Singapore, Wego launched its travel metasearch website for MENA in Apr 2012 and opened its Dubai office in 2013. The localized mobile apps and website helped Wego become one of the most popular and trusted travel comparison service in the region. The startup had raised $45.5 million before this investment, according to the data available on Crunchbase. Its investors include names like Tiger Global Management & News Corp.
Commenting on the partnership, Ross Veitch, CEO & Co-Founder of Wego said: “We are thrilled to welcome MBC GROUP as a strategic partner and excited by the opportunities to grow and develop the Wego brand while leveraging MBC’s huge audiences as well as their considerable brand building expertise”. He further added: “As we incorporate more video based editorial content and product merchandising to Wego’s online travel marketplace there is obvious crossover potential between MBC’s programming and Wego’s online services. We look forward to exploring those opportunities together”.
MBC has its own venture arm by the name of MBC Ventures that has invested in a lot of regional multimedia startups including Anghami, Kharabeesh, Glambox & SuperMama. However, its the first time the parent company MBC Group has invested in a tech startup.
Fadel Zahreddine, Group Director of Brand Management- Marketing, Branding, Digital Businesses- at MBC Group said: “We’re excited to be welcoming Wego to our family, and extend our portfolio of leading mobile and digital services”. Zahreddine added: “I believe that applying MBC’s brand amplification platforms to Wego’s fabulous product offering will benefit both brands and anybody who books their travel online”.