Archive for the ‘Yemen’ Category

N2V Adds AqarMap, Qaym And True-Gaming To Their Portfolio

| April 3, 2011 – 11:20 am | comment 5 Comments

National Net Ventures, better known as N2V, and one of the top internet groups in the Middle East, have been on an investment roll lately, announcing three new investments in regional startups within the past couple of weeks alone.

The three startups cover three different areas, following N2V’s strategy to diversify their portfolio of internet properties and expand regionally and globally to cover new areas of interest for users in the Arab world.

The announced investments were in the following startups: AqarMap, Qaym and True-Gaming.

(more…) Launches New Version Based On User Feedback

| August 21, 2010 – 5:22 pm | comment 1 Comment, the regional online real estate marketplace that was launched a few months ago, and that enables users to search for houses, apartments and land based on location, through satellite maps, has launched a new version.

According to numbers from AqarMap, they’ve grown quite well over the past few months, reaching a number of over 600 registered Real Estate companies and brokers, who are using the service and posting their properties on it.

The new version of the site aims to bring improved usability and more features for the users. The interesting thing is that all the enhancements and features in this new version were built on ideas and features requested by the early adopting users and clients of AqarMap, which makes it pretty much a crowd sourced effort.


Ras2Ras Social Rating Platform Acquired By Qatari Investor

| June 13, 2010 – 8:38 am | comment 14 Comments

ras2rasRas2Ras, the Yemen-based online social rating and comparison platform, that was previously covered here, has been acquired by Qatari investor Ahmed Alaji.

Ras2Ras, which was founded by Amad Almsaodi in 2008, was built around a very simple yet really interesting idea: putting any two comparable things against each other, and letting people vote on which they like best.

Now, even though the tool’s idea is very simple in principle, it could be used for a number of research and user engagement purposes by businesses, with the potential to be a source of some really interesting and useful insights and information.


Winners Of The MIT Arab Business Plan Competition 09-10

| June 5, 2010 – 7:51 pm | comment 18 Comments

The MIT Arab Business Plan Competition is a competition designed to encourage all entrepreneurs in the Arab world to start their own company and, ultimately, create a nest of leading firms in the Arab world.

The current version of the competition was officially launched on October 12th 2009 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The competition went through a number of rounds, including different teams covering the following sectors: Energy, Engineering, Healthcare, Internet, Software and Telecom.

The final round just took place at a ceremony in Cairo, Egypt, and the awards for this year were handed out. The winners of this edition of the MIT Arab Business Plan Competition are as follows:

First place: The Little Engineer (Lebanon) – Prize: $US 50,000
An after-school edutainment center which introduces kids and teens [age 4-16+] to pre-engineering courses such as robotics, physics, electricity, electronics, renewable energy and more.
Team: Rana El Chemaitelly, Albert Shamieh, Nadia Alamah, Marwa Harb.

(more…) A New Take At Real Estate eMarketplaces

| April 28, 2010 – 12:25 pm | comment 5 Comments

AqarMapWhile Real Estate owners continue to struggle to overcome the results of the financial crisis that hit them the hardest, and find themselves working harder to sell or rent their properties in today’s economy; you’d think that this wouldn’t really be the best time for someone to go ahead and launch a real estate portal.

However, I’m sure the founders of AqarMap would disagree, and would argue that it is at times like these that opportunities are created; I know because I had this discussion a few months ago with the CEO of AqarMap, Amad Almsaodi, who has been driving this effort.

The idea is that as things are currently quite tight for real estate companies and owners, and their marketing budgets aren’t what they used to be, they need more affordable and efficient marketing channels; and that is the spot AqarMap wants to establish itself in, launching to specifically target this demand with a new platform that tries to take a different and more innovative approach to matching sellers and buyers based on location.

What AqarMap aims to do is tackle the weakness in the regional addressing system by allowing real estate owners to precisely identify their properties using satellite maps; enabling buyers and renters to search the market by browsing an interactive map instead of using keywords.

Amad Almsaodi, CEO of, says: “We built our marketplace by capitalizing on the Real Estate golden rule: Location, Location, Location. The price of a property is irrelevant if it is not in the customers preferred location. Customers can now search by location and find the nearby points of interest, such as: parks, schools, public transportation, …etc.”


Property owners can post their listings on for free, and for a small fee they can promote their listings to gain higher visibility on the map, also enabling geo-targeting of potential clients to increase click-throughs. also uses a number of different technologies and services to empower its users; Google maps for location, YouTube for videos of properties, Twitter and Facebook to help share listings in social circles, as well as other services to translate content and convert numbers and currencies.

AqarMap is a service based out of Yemen, is currently available in both Arabic and English, and has already taken part in several regional competitions over the past period and won a number of awards.

Ras2Ras Releases New Version Of Their Comparison Service

| January 24, 2009 – 6:06 pm | comment No Comments

ras2rasRas2Ras, the comparison research service from Yemen; which is based on the simple of concept of putting any two comparable things against each other, and letting people vote on which they like best; has released a new version.

The new release comes with a slightly different new design and layout that still hangs on to the simplicity of the old one, but is just a bit more organized, more visually appealing and integrates their new features.

The service which is still in beta is looking more mature now, with the new design and a number of other previously hanging details ironed out.

Comparisons, or Battles as they’re called on the service, now end after 90 days. Then they can be found up in the site’s results section. Select battle results will also be highlighted by the Ras2Ras team on their blog and elsewhere on the web. 

Users can now also join discussions on battles, getting alerts whenever someone submits a reply on the discussion; making it easier for people to follow topics of interest to them.

Other little additions and tweaks have been added here and there, like the rotation of the latest comments on the homepage, the improved URL structure and the site becoming more search engine friendly.


Ras2Ras, Arabic Online Comparison Research Tool

| August 12, 2008 – 6:46 pm | comment 11 Comments

ras2rasRas2Ras, which means “Head to head” in Arabic, is a new Arabic service from Yemen, which is built around a very simple yet really interesting idea: putting any two comparable things against each other, and letting people vote on which they like best.

These comparisons are called ‘battles’, and competing against each other we can find products, services, websites, people or anything really; and then through user voting we can find out which one the people prefer.

Users can also leave their comments on the battle, which can provide more insight into what people like about a certain ‘competitor’, or what they find negative about the other.

Anybody can register for free and start a new battle between two things for the people to vote on. Battles can be tagged for easier search, and users can also view all battles started by the same user.

Now, even though the idea is very simple in principle, it is very useful and really helps in a number of situations, some serious ones and others that could be for fun, which makes it all the more interesting.

The most obvious and interesting use is as a research tool; for example it can help businesses get people’s feedback on them with regards to their biggest competitor and understand why through the comments to better identify ways to build on their strengths and fill in their weakness gaps; The tool can also come in handy for a person wanting to buy a certain thing and not knowing which is best, and hoping that the community can help them out. And the list of examples where it can help in research can go on.

ras2ras screenshot

Ras2Ras was built by Yemeni internet solutions company Yemen Server. The design is pretty simplistic and straight-forward, focused on the battle and the vote, just like it should be. The service is available in Arabic only for the time being and is still in beta mode, as they’ll be rolling out more features.

# Ras2Ras

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