Arabic sport outlet Elbotola raises $400,000 to expand to Middle East

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Good things come to those who wait. Elbotola, the Arabic sports platform, has raised 4M dirham ($400,000) from Maroc Numeric Fund, also known as MNF.

In August, Elbotola’s managing director Oussama Benhammou told Wamda the startup was in the process of raising money. It took them a few months to finalize the deal.

Elbotola launched in December 2007 when the internet in Morocco was still an untapped market. It wasn’t until 2012 that the startup began to generate revenue. The team’s patience paid off. Elbotola is presently one of the top 20 most-visited websites in the country, with 30 millions page views per month. Check out their fascinating story here.

The team now has its eyes on the Middle East. “[The goal of this fundraising] is to reinforce our position in Morocco and to go East. The number of users in GCC increases by 90% every month. MENA, here we come,” said Elbotola's president Akram Benmbarek to Wamda. Between this investment and their unshakable motivation, they might well succeed.

To differentiate themselves from the competition, the team is betting on technology. They are currently working on new social and interactive functions, including a chat feature and collaborative content. They are enhancing real-time score publication and improving the website’s multiplatform availability. Since we last chatted with them, they launched Clear Pronostics, a tool that lets readers prognosticate scores.

2014 was a rather calm year for MNF, who shifted direction towards larger tickets. This strategy appears to be paying off. The venture capital fund announced last month a $280,000 investment in Education Media Company, and should announce a new investment soon.   


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