Zoomaal, the first crowdfunding platform for the Arab world

Pubblicato il 04 Lug 2013

“I've always believed that crowdfunding was meant initially in the Arab world. Developed countries already provide lots of supports to early entrepreneurs through various programs in universities or other. However, it's very challenging to get a project off the ground in the Arab world, and this is where I think Arabs would want to join hands together to bring back Arab creativity”, with these words Abdallah Absi announces to Startupbusiness the born of Zoomaal, the first crowdfunding platform for the Arab world.

Zoomaal goes live today July 4th and is fully dedicated to Arab based projects and is funded by four major VC funds of the Mena area that are Wamda, N2V, Sawari Ventures and Middle East Venture Partners that invested an undisclosed amount. Is the first time that the four investors joins together to finance a single project.

Abdallah Absi is a young entrepreneur, he is 21 years old, and other than founder and Ceo of Zoomaal he is also founder of the Entrepreneurship Club in Lebanon that raises awareness about entrepreneurship among students.

Zoomaal is based in Beirut, Lebanon and counts already several projects from 11 Arab countries published on the platform and ready to rise the money they need.

Zoomaal is designed to have a series of features in order to be effective for all users in the Arab Countries as are the following ones:

1. Unique funding source: Getting projects funded in the Arab world is very difficult knowing that people don't have credit cards. Zoomaal's strategic model is sourcing projects from the Arab world and getting these projects funded from the Arab diaspora in the US, Europe, and Canada who have credit cards, disposable incomes, and want to give back to their communities.

2. A-Z payments platform: there isn't any crowdfunding platform right now that supports a fully A-Z payment solution for paying and getting paid in the Arab world – due to strict regulations in some countries, and lack of credit cards. Zoomaal also supports more than 12 payment methods to pay through offline scratch cards, paypal and credit cards (see here). For paying out to project owners, we have local partners in pretty much every Arab country to facilitate the movement and receipt of funds. Our platform uses the All-or-nothing model, so if a project owner doesn't raise his/her funding goal by the deadline, all the money goes back to the backers to their balances on Zoomaal (or not charged at all if credit card was used for the contribution).

3. Education & Fun UX: If you go to any new page, you see some tours to educate people about crowdfunding. This is highly needed for the Arab world. check this. Zoomaal has these kind of tours around the site in several areas. They made sure that the project page was redesigned from the traditional design of crowdfunding pages to make it more intuitive to use the site – try scroll the page, check the tricks!

4. Sharing Sharing Sharing: Crowdfunding is all about sharing, so Zoomaal tried to focus their efforts and made sure they had the best sharing tools in the market – vs Indiegogo and Kickstarter:

a. Facebook advanced sharing: They created a hangman-like game where you have to select your friends to reveal a word, and then after you submit they generate a photo (since it's the most engaging on FB) of the project to be shared and post it on facebook and tag your friends. You can try it here. Or check the screenshots here.

b. Mass Emails: just go to any project page you'll see on the left sidebar that you can type an email and quickly send an email recommendation (5 sec), compared to indiegogo's “mailto:” email function from 1990s.

try here / screenshot. And we have an advanced mass emailer with Gmail here / screenshot.

5. Top-notch partnerships: with project service providers, like video producers, reward manufacturers, courier services, etc. Also, Zoomaal is working closely on strategic partnerships with Arab expat orgs like TechWadi in Silicon Valley, and creative communities that always have an influx of projects.

6. Some other details

a. Zoomaal is trying to maintain an average of $5,000 for all their projects they have in the initial phase

b. Every project must have a video – its mandatory

c. Zoomaal takes a fee of 5% from only successful projects.

d. Accepted categories: any project that is creative and is development oriented – no charity, or fund myself. Religious, political, alcohol, pornography projects are immediately banned!

If you have a project, you can submit it from here: “I've always believed that crowdfunding was meant initially in the Arab world. Developed countries already provide lots of supports to early entrepreneurs through various programs in universities or other. However, it's very challenging to get a project off the ground in the Arab world, and this is where I think Arabs would want to join hands together to bring back Arab creativity”, with these words Abdallah Absi announces to Startupbusiness the born of Zoomaal, the first crowdfunding platform for the Arab world.

Zoomaal goes live today July 4th and is fully dedicated to Arab based projects and is funded by four major VC funds of the Mena area that are Wamda, N2V, Sawari Ventures and Middle East Venture Partners that invested an undisclosed amount. Is the first time that the four investors joins together to finance a single project.

Abdallah Absi is a young entrepreneur, he is 21 years old, and other than founder and Ceo of Zoomaal he is also founder of the Entrepreneurship Club in Lebanon that raises awareness about entrepreneurship among students.

Zoomaal is based in Beirut, Lebanon and counts already several projects from 11 Arab countries published on the platform and ready to rise the money they need.

Zoomaal is designed to have a series of features in order to be effective for all users in the Arab Countries as are the following ones:

1. Unique funding source: Getting projects funded in the Arab world is very difficult knowing that people don't have credit cards. Zoomaal's strategic model is sourcing projects from the Arab world and getting these projects funded from the Arab diaspora in the US, Europe, and Canada who have credit cards, disposable incomes, and want to give back to their communities.

2. A-Z payments platform: there isn't any crowdfunding platform right now that supports a fully A-Z payment solution for paying and getting paid in the Arab world – due to strict regulations in some countries, and lack of credit cards. Zoomaal also supports more than 12 payment methods to pay through offline scratch cards, paypal and credit cards (see here). For paying out to project owners, we have local partners in pretty much every Arab country to facilitate the movement and receipt of funds. Our platform uses the All-or-nothing model, so if a project owner doesn't raise his/her funding goal by the deadline, all the money goes back to the backers to their balances on Zoomaal (or not charged at all if credit card was used for the contribution).

3. Education & Fun UX: If you go to any new page, you see some tours to educate people about crowdfunding. This is highly needed for the Arab world. check this. Zoomaal has these kind of tours around the site in several areas. They made sure that the project page was redesigned from the traditional design of crowdfunding pages to make it more intuitive to use the site – try scroll the page, check the tricks!

4. Sharing Sharing Sharing: Crowdfunding is all about sharing, so Zoomaal tried to focus their efforts and made sure they had the best sharing tools in the market – vs Indiegogo and Kickstarter:

a. Facebook advanced sharing: They created a hangman-like game where you have to select your friends to reveal a word, and then after you submit they generate a photo (since it's the most engaging on FB) of the project to be shared and post it on facebook and tag your friends. You can try it here. Or check the screenshots here.

b. Mass Emails: just go to any project page you'll see on the left sidebar that you can type an email and quickly send an email recommendation (5 sec), compared to indiegogo's “mailto:” email function from 1990s. try here / screenshot. And we have an advanced mass emailer with Gmail here / screenshot.

5. Top-notch partnerships: with project service providers, like video producers, reward manufacturers, courier services, etc. Also, Zoomaal is working closely on strategic partnerships with Arab expat orgs like TechWadi in Silicon Valley, and creative communities that always have an influx of projects.

6. Some other details

a. Zoomaal is trying to maintain an average of $5,000 for all their projects they have in the initial phase

b. Every project must have a video – its mandatory

c. Zoomaal takes a fee of 5% from only successful projects.

d. Accepted categories: any project that is creative and is development oriented – no charity, or fund myself. Religious, political, alcohol, pornography projects are immediately banned!

If you have a project, you can submit it from here: http://www.zoomaal.com/create

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