The first Arab social network for books, Abjjad, has successfully crowdfunded equity in their startup on Eureeca. The small company intended on raising $120,000 USD but surpassed that goal closing at $161,776 this past week. The Amman, Jordan based company was funded by 43 investors who came together to purchase 17.98% equity in the company.
Abijad was recognized earlier this year by winning the Mohammad Bin Rashid Award for the best Arabic startup in the region for 2013.
The company was founded by 29 year-old Eman Hylooz, who has a background in computer science, decided to create a website where she could bring publishers, authors and readers together all in a single location. Oasis500, an incubator, provided the seed funding to launch the site. Initially Eman thought the site would grow slowly capturing several hundred users, but they quickly reached 10,000 users in their very first month of being live on the internet. These numbers continue to increase and Eman needed additional capital to support the growing concept.
Recently the site has captured 9000 reviews along with 60,000 ratings on books. The social network has now fostered meetups where like minded readers gather and discuss their passion for books.
According to a report in Wamda, Hylooz is planning to invest the Eureeca money by hiring sales teams in various Arab countries, mainly Egypt and Saudi Arabia, followed by Syria and Lebanon. She also expects to launch both an iOS app and Android app within the next few months.
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