Investment company Cosmos Group recently sold online powerhouse and UAE’s homegrown website for daily deals, Nail the Deal, for an undisclosed sum. Cosmos Group is known for providing comprehensive support to the budding community of start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Middle East region. Cosmos Group was launched by Gaurav Aidasani, a prominent angel investor whose has a diversified portfolio of investments in digital media, eCommerce, online advertising and digital publishing.
Commenting on his exit from Nail the Deal, Gaurav said, “I am pleased to see the company passing into good hands. The company has been very important to me and I know the new investors have a strategic plan for the firm and happen to be a good cultural fit for Nail the Deal. They not only have the relevant experience but also a growth strategy and investment plan that will position Nail the Deal to increase its digital presence and grow exponentially.”
Nail the Deal rose quickly under Aidasani’s leadership to become one of UAE’s biggest daily deals website and a large online market place with over 5,000 registered vendors. The coupon website caters to a crowd of digitally-savvy mobile buyers who are accustomed to purchasing everything from tires to dinners to exotic vacations online. The e-commerce market in the Middle East is valued at $4.9 billion and it is expected to be valued at $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) by 2018.*
Exact financial terms of the deal have not been released, however, one of the former investors Wadih Haddad commented, “Nail the Deal was a strategic investment for us; job creation and supporting startups is something we take very seriously. Being able to enjoy over a 300% return on our investment is a remarkable achievement from Nail the Deal and will enable us to reinvest the proceeds into future projects.”
The sale not only recuperates the investment made into Nail the Deal, but also includes funds for growth and expansion into new markets within the region. “We are seeing a high demand and a major shift in people’s habits when it comes to shopping online. E-commerce is blossoming in the Gulf region, and we are confident that this acquisition will fuel the business,” said Mr. Jasim, owner of Jasim Al Ali Group of Companies and the new investor of Nail the Deal.
Nail the Deal like most of the group buying websites signs up a range of businesses to offer discounts to its customers, and takes a percentage of the revenue. The active lifestyle of the UAE’s young expatriate population, rising popularity of Internet shopping and growing number of credit card users contribute to the growth of online deals business. A major driver for this popularity is the social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter which connects and familiarizes people with the Internet.
As things have gone digital and the internet has replaced everything else to become the prime medium of finding hot deals and discounts, online sales is experiencing an upswing. Research indicates internet spending in the Middle East is booming with GCC countries to experience a 40 % growth in online sales by 2020.**