Rising Silicon Valley start-up hails Middle East's e-commerce potential
- United Arab Emirates: Sunday, December 16 - 2012 at 15:30
- PRESS RELEASE
AnchorFree, a Silicon Valley-based online privacy and security pioneer, has vowed to kick-start the Middle East's nascent e-commerce industry.
The company is currently gaining plaudits in the Middle East for its free Hotspot Shield solution, which encrypts every accessed web page and provides a secure, private tunnel, preventing hackers from preying on users of public WiFi connections.
This year, the Arab Advisors Group valued the region's e-commerce-related transactions at around $11bn per annum - a figure that pales in comparison to Europe's $391bn.
A recently study for Dubai Press Club's Arab Media Outlook 2011-2015 found that 16% of respondents purchased items online in the UAE, whereas e-commerce penetration stood at a mere 2-3% in markets such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.
"The Middle East as a whole boasts one of the most sophisticated consumer tech markets in the world, which makes it extremely fertile ground for e-commerce to take off in a big way. When it does, there will be exciting benefits not only for consumers through more choice and better prices, but also for local entrepreneurs wishing to innovate in this field," Gorodyansky explained.
Gorodynasky added, "The Middle East's attitude to e-commerce is already poised for rapid change, and the need to protect online shoppers is likely to be higher than ever."
A survey from Yahoo! Maktoob Research recently reported that one third of women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region shop online, and e-commerce sites like Souq.com, jadopado.com are demonstrating strong growth.
Shoe and clothing website Namshi is another indicative case-in-point, having secured $20m in financing from JP Morgan Chase and Blakeney Management earlier this year to ramp up business.
AnchorFree hopes to make the e-commerce playing field safer than ever before with Hotspot Shield, which provides desktop and mobile users with protection from 3.5 million malware, phishing and SPAM sites. To date, Hotspot Shield has already been downloaded by more than 100 million people from 190 countries worldwide.
Available on Apple iOS, and Android devices, in addition to desktop PCs and Macs, Hotspot Shield also compresses data during mobile phone use to speed up the browsing experience and more than double the amount of Web content users can access under their mobile data plans.
In just over a year, Hotspot Shield products have saved mobile users more than 21 million megabytes of data, protected users from more than 630 million pieces of malware and encrypted more than 15 billion page views. Hotspot Shield was an early pioneer in protecting Mac users from the Flashback virus in 2012 and remains one of the most popular Mac security apps worldwide.
AnchorFree experienced explosive growth in 2012 and, according to Quantcast, has the 35th most trafficked service on the Web, placing it among the top 40 online destinations based on total Internet traffic.
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