Startup news ticker: TA Telecom wins Mobile Merit Awards and Google acquires Bump

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Welcome to Wamda's weekly startup news ticker, which will offer quick announcements and stories relevant to the region. If you have a quick news release to share about your startup, let us know at 

Wednesday, September 18th

TA Telecom wins the Mobile Merit Awards 2013

TA Telecom, an Egyptian mobile service provider, has won the Service Delivery Platform award for its mobile content delivery product, Buzz, from the Mobile Merit Awards 2013

Buzz is an SMS-based service platform designed for mobile operators in emerging markets. “It provides users with information about local and international news, entertainment sports content, talk shows, among others. The information is delivered via SMS. 

“It was great to see a company like TA Telecom from Egypt submit itself to the Mobile Merit Awards. It has exceeded all of our criteria for being a winner by using its mobile technology and innovation to impact its targeted regional markets with a social importance in our worldwide mobile eco-system,” said Steve Brumer, one of the Mobile Merit Award judges.

Google acquires sharing content app Bump

Bump, an app that allows users to share pictures, contact and other files from one device to another, has been acquired by Google for an undisclosed price, speculated to be over US $30 million.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to join Google, a company that shares our belief that the application of computing to difficult problems can fundamentally change the way that we interact with one another and the world,” wrote David Lieb, CEO and co-founder at Bump on the app’s blog.  

It’s unclear why the tech giant acquired Bump, but it could be because of its “easy-to-use-file sharing technology as a response to Apple’s AirDrop, which is integrated into iOS 7”, as stated in ReadWrite.

Monday, September 16th

Joota receives $700K in funding to improve its social content network

Joota, a social content network based in Malaysia, has recently secured 700,000 of funding from two investment sources: US $500,000 from Interactive E Solutions JLT in Dubai, UAE and USD US $200,000 from an individual angel investor.

Joota, which was released in public beta in 2012, is a community-based platform that helps users search for content, bookmark it, share it or comment on it while on the page. The platform is planning on expanding globally.

"We are excited to receive this new round of funding. It allows us to support our technology team to continue to improve Joota”, said Ashran Ghazi, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Joota. “We are thankful to Interactive E Solutions JLT and our private angel investor for granting us their trust and recognizing our strategy to grow.”  

 AWI Company launches ArabsTurbo in MENA 

AWI Company, an Iraqi company focusing on workforce solutions, and the company behind, launched yesterday.

The website is designed for “auto enthusiasts, motor sport addicts, speed junkies and seekers of adrenaline pumping experiences,” as mentioned in the press release. ArabsTurbo offers original Arabic content, videos, pictures and the latest news in the automobile industry.

“ArabsTurbo comes as a natural response for the needs of Regional Auto-Dealers and advertisers for a Premium online destination to showcase their offerings,” said Omar Moath, a Product Executive at ArabsTurbo. “Based on exclusive Arabic content and well-defined personas, offers advertisers and brand owners the right platform to target their consumers with an array of special and un-conventional advertising solutions.”

Fly-Foot launches a new competition for a chance to attend the World Cup 2014 

Fly-Foot, a global company with offices in Jordan, Lebanon and UAE, has launched a Facebook game application called Big in Rio. The company offers packages for football fans to travel and watch their favorite football games.

The Facebook game, which launched earlier this month, and has “already gathered dozens of subscribers,” according to cofounder Rayan Ismail, allows users to predict football game scores for a chance to win a trip to Brazil to attend the World Cup 2014.

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