ArabAd brings you an exclusive interview with Tarek Homsi, General Manager of Diwanee, one of the leading digital publishers in the Middle East that recently signed a ground-breaking partnership with Webedia, a French digital publisher, which some believe is set to pave the way for a new kind of business model.
What were the main reasons for the acquisition aside from the reported five million monthly visitors?
I guess you mean the $5mn capital increase. The main reasons for the deal, from Diwanee’s side, and beyond the cash injection, are to accelerate innovation and growth and expand our product portfolio, specifically:
- Ability to launch successful Webedia properties in our region;
- Technical and business synergies – both companies operate in the same space with the same business model;
- Larger platform for significant technical investments in the publishing, advertising and monetisation fields.
From Webedia’s perspective, they value the following assets of Diwanee:
- existing traffic (the 5mn monthly visitors);
- growth and market leadership potential;
- access to the Middle Eastern market with an established operation;
- existing commercial relationships with key agencies and clients;
- talent: a team of 120 specialists in their respective fields;
- and, overarching, the management team and its ability to execute the strategy in our region.
In what way will this affect the service?
The investment and relationship with Webedia will allow us to continue to innovate and provide cutting-edge solutions to our clients, including more sophisticated solutions for branded content production and leveraging our technical know-how, in particular data analysis tools, and methods for enhancing retargeting, data management, and user profiling.
What other prospects, after this deal have been made, do you see for the regional digital industry?
This deal serves as a showcase for the regional digital industry that it is possible to create, scale and exit a project in the region. As a result, we expect additional investments and developments in the regional digital industry.
Will this deal further empower women and if so, in what ways?
By providing Diwanee with the means to expand the breadth and depth of our content production, we continue and thrive in providing women with educational content, in particular on 3a2ilati, and services such as Wayyana that allows them to express themselves and communicate with other women in a secure environment.
What other products (branded content) will you be developing in the future and what value, revenue aside, will these have for the site’s visitors?
Diwanee will continue to focus on what serves the user, and ensure that the content remains educational; branded content pieces typically won’t exceed a ratio of 1:20 when compared to regular articles.