ArabiaWeather, a leading provider of weather products, services, and solutions to consumers and businesses in the Arab World, today announced it has completed an investment round of two million dollars, led by new investor Badia Impact Fund, a venture capital fund that is part of Silicon Badia, a global group of venture funds based in New York City and Jordan, alongside existing investors Jabbar Internet Group, led by the founders of regional success story Maktoob, Dash Ventures, MENA Venture Investments and others. The company was founded by Mohammed Al-Shaker, the young Jordanian entrepreneur who has become a staple in the weather industry in the region.
Contrary to perceptions outside the region, the Arab World experiences extremely diverse and varied weather, and the suite of ArabiaWeather platforms and mobile products allows people and businesses alike to receive timely, accurate local weather in Arabic – a key differentiator to the many non-Arabic weather services currently available.
Today’s news comes as Al-Shaker seeks to expand the business’s operations further into the enterprise space, while consolidating its leadership in the consumer arena where ArabiaWeather has attracted 20 million uniques to its platforms since November 2013 “Weather has a huge impact on businesses across the region, but many of these businesses are not served with the right solutions. We are working on changing that and will be expanding our offerings and infrastructure aggressively in 2015 given this latest investment in order to continue the strong traction we have seen in the last quarter of 2014 across a variety of industries,” commented Al-Shaker on the investment.
The importance of highly accurate weather forecasts is one which is often overlooked for businesses – yet is especially important in vertical markets such as the oil and gas industry, media, insurance, and aviation where changing weather can be a business critical issue. The applications and services Al-Shaker’s team can offer addresses these issues with tailor made solutions.
In the consumer space, ArabiaWeather is addressing the always-on market that Western countries have become all too used to having on tap, where consistent, modern, multi-platform forecasts are available from a host of providers. This luxury wasn’t an option in the Arab World despite the huge public demand, and ArabiaWeather is looking to solve this, with engaging, hyper-local, accurate and precise services tailored to the Arabic market.
Leading MENA businesses are already using the platform, demonstrating the successful model, and the need for such information in the region. Within the aviation space, bad weather conditions can trigger delays in aircraft traffic, resulting in losses of thousands of dollars, and so early weather notifications can help minimize such losses while simultaneously improving safety. Royal Jordanian, one of the region’s leading airlines is using ArabiaWeather’s solution for better planning, cutting costs, avoid losses and improve safety. Meanwhile in the media space, two of the larger networks in the region Al-Arabiya and Sharjah TV use ArabiaWeather to provide accurate, localized, and relevant weather forecasts to their end consumers and also helping them increase revenues generated from sponsorship within the weather segment.
Commenting on the investment, Badia Impact Fund Managing Partner Namek Zu’bi said, “We are excited to join Mohammed and the ArabiaWeather family alongside other great investors. The company has done a great job showing us that they have the potential to build a large business in weather especially in the B2B segments we plan on going after aggressively in 2015.” Samih Toukan, Chairman and CEO of the Jabbar Internet Group further commented, “We are excited to re-invest into ArabiaWeather and welcome the Badia Impact Fund. We think this can become a great success story in the region. By delivering fresh weather and relevant content ArabiaWeather is already reaching and affecting the lives of millions of consumers in the Arab World on a daily basis whether through their web site or their mobile app.”
The technology developed by ArabiaWeather transforms raw, isolated weather data points into processed, organized, and packaged information using proprietary algorithms, high resolution “super-computer” numerical models, before crafting it to be easy to understand, hyper-local, and engaging, for the business or consumer needing the information. Thus, ArabiaWeather’s innovation lies not only in its data gathering, algorithms, and processes, but in the presentation and creation of industry-specific products using this data.
ArabiaWeather was founded by Al-Shaker who then recruited co-founders Osama Al-Tarifi as Chief Operating Officer COO and Yousef Wadi, as Chief Product Officer – roles they currently hold today