Mobile technology is spreading rapidly in emerging markets and this is especially true in the Middle East. With such a large young population it is “the second fastest growing mobile phone market in the world” according to a recent blog post on the popular blog VentureBeat by Endeavor Entrepreneur Fatih Isbecer, who asserts that “Turkey is leading the mobile revolution in the Middle East.”
Fatih notes that “lately, emerging markets’ key focus area has been mobile. Since 2002, mobile penetration has grown 321 percent in developing countries. Meanwhile, it’s only grown 46 percent in developed countries in the same time period.’
‘The number of mobile phone subscribers has increased from 50 million in 2006 to 80 million in 2011, including more than 20 million 3G subscribers. With the completion of mobile revolution in the country, the overall mobile penetration rate expected to reach 95 percent in 2013, from just 43 percent in 2008.”
This goes hand in hand with increased internet connectivity and use. Fatih notes that “while worldwide average time spent online is 23.1 hours per week, this number reaches 29.4 hours in Turkey.”
Such activity has not escaped the attention of multilateral corporations.
“Well-known corporations such as Vodafone, eBay, Telecom Italia and Intel Capital are only a few of the global tech players that have entered Turkey, and new ones are being added rapidly. In the last year, around $1 billion has been invested in Turkish internet-based companies, ranging from private and group shopping to daily deals.’
‘In a more tech-friendly environment, companies are trying to satisfy the expectations of a growing audience. Startups have emerged that are taking advantage of this opportunity. For example, P.I. Works is a Turkish company that provides network optimization products used by voice or data wireless operators to increase the capacity and decrease the operating and capital expenditures for mobile carriers. Another well-established start-up is the social gaming company, Peak Games, leading the gaming world both in Turkey and the Middle East.”
P.I. Works and Peak Games were both founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
According to the World Bank, more and more investors are attracted to Turkey due to “a diversified economy, proximity to Europe, integration with European markets, the external anchor of EU accession, and a lengthy track record of solid economic management and structural reform.’ For example, the government budget for R&D projects almost tripled in the last two years, enabling advancement in both finance and technology. This rapid and prominent progress in Turkey holds an example for the other countries in the Middle East.”
“Along with the start-ups that are filling various niche markets, financial companies are also pioneers of the mobile revolution, striving to provide their customers with uninterrupted service at all times.”
At the cross roads of mobile technology and financial services is mobile banking. But because of Turkey’s developed mobile market, Fatih says, “the emphasis in this country has been on sophisticated mobile banking solutions for customers of traditional banks. In this fast-paced society, people are looking for convenient ways to perform their banking activities. As of June 2010, Turkey had more than 16 million internet banking users who are processing more than 400,000 financial and non-financial transactions per month. The majority of the internet banking users are inclined to use or switch to mobile banking due to its speed and flexibility. With a share of 40 percent in the mobile banking market, IsBank is converting more clients to mobile banking every day. Banks like Doha Bank in Qatar are going into smartphone banking, following Turkey’s lead.”
‘In 2007, Turkey’s biggest bank, Isbank, partnered with my company, Pozitron,” also supported by Endeavor, “to create a unique mobile banking platform. With more than 75 different features, the platform Pozitron developed, IsCep, is one of the most sophisticated banking applications in Europe.”
In short, Turkey’s technological markets are growing every day and Endeavor is happy to be part of that growth.
Read the article in full here.