Diwanee, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Herve Cuviliez and Delphine Edde, recently announced a majority acquisition by the Paris-based digital media publishing company Webedia, which also injected $5 million in expansion capital into the company. Cited as one of the region’s largest digital media investments to date, the news not only demonstrates the impact that Endeavor’s entrepreneurs are having on their local economies, but also a rising interest in the Middle East’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.
With a predominantly female readership, Diwanee creates and distributes content through its unique offering of Arabic-language websites focused on beauty, fashion, health, entertainment, retail and social media. Founded in 2008 with employees across three countries, the company’s five current web properties – each focused on a different vertical – garners over five million unique visitors per month. With its sights set on the increasingly global landscape of lifestyle products, fashion and internet retail, Diwanee has carved out a niche but growing market in the Middle East, working with a number of its brands and sponsors to create custom content and craft engaging digital and web strategies. Diwanee’s new owner Webedia, which carries similar lifestyle-focused properties in its portfolio, has 40 million unique global users and established presences in France, Brazil, Turkey, Germany and Spain. The investment signifies a move for the French company to enter the Middle East while also helping Diwanee’s team develop their current offerings and explore new verticals.
“Diwanee was at a point where we could do more on the technology side and data side, but it didn’t make financial sense to do it on our own,” said Herve in a statement. “We were very interested in doing this as part of a much larger group. It was a great synergy [with Webedia], and it’s very exciting.”
Since their selection as Endeavor Entrepreneurs at the 46th ISP in Miami in 2012, Herve and Delphine have been active members of the Endeavor network, including participation in the 2013 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit and Endeavor Investor Network events. Read the press release of the announcement by clicking here, and see coverage of the news in Wamda and Campaign Magazine.