Yamsafer Announces $1million in Investment from Sadara Ventures
Ramallah-based online travel site Yamsafer made waves in the MENA region yesterday, annoucing a $1million round of investment from Sadara Ventures, a $30 million fund that focuses on early-stage Palestinian tech startups. Sadara’s backers include Google Foundation, Cisco, The George Soros Economic Development Fund, the Skoll Foundation, and The European Investment Bank. first to be announced by the fund and the first VC round to close in Palestine.
The investment round is big for a startup anywhere in the Arab World, especially one that bootstrapped for 12 months on seed funding of only $12,000, as founder Faris Zaher explains in our interview below.
Yamsafer, which launched about a year ago, allows travelers to book Middle Eastern hotels online, at prices that are typically lower than the average international site. Its other big differentiator in the online travel agency (OTA) space is that it currently focuses on the hotel vertical and offers bundled packages that include local events, like Mashrou3 Leila’s upcoming concert in Amman.