Astra Tech, a UAE-based technology group, has fully acquired BOTIM, the MENA region’s leading VoIP platform.
Astra, aiming for an ultra app
Astra aims to develop and launch BOTIM as a super app to address a range of daily needs for customers across the MENA region. Astra has acquired USD 500 million through fundraising led by G42. Earlier in the year, G42 created a USD 10 billion fund to drive tech investments.
The BOTIM acquisition marks a further expansion of Astra’s portfolio. Astra’s stable includes Rizek, which offers home cleaning services, and Payby, a homegrown fintech company, both of which will integrated into BOTIM in order to fuel the develop of the company’s planned ultra app.
BOTIM: The region’s most popular local VoIP platform
BOTIM is the region’s largest, most popular MENA-built communications platform, boasting 90 million registered users and 25 million active users. The acquisition gives Astra Tech the room to expand beyond super apps and build the region’s first ultra app with BOTIM.
Abdallah Abu Sheikh, founder of Astra Tech, is spearheading the formation of BOTIM’s relaunch and will emphasize the importance of creating a monolithic app with several services, an intuitive interface, and a strong value proposition for customers and merchants. The overall approach is to create one app, through which users can access a wide range of services.
“An all-encompassing app”
Abu Sheikh, said, “The need for an all-encompassing app accessible to all customers that can re-steer economics in the right direction while giving customers, merchants, and investors a fair deal is paramount. BOTIM will be the first of its kind in the region to simplify interactions of hundreds of millions of users, allowing them to engage and transact seamlessly. Acquiring BOTIM puts us on a path to continue our mission of disrupting consumer technology and building a global benchmark of what an ultra-app should look like.”
To date, Astra has worked to create one of the region’s leading technology development teams and to acquire digital assets that will enable the development of a seamless, smooth experience in which users can undertake a range of actions and benefit from a series of different offerings.
A boom during COVID-19
According to BOTIM, the company’s app exploded in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The app allows for a range of communication types, including video, audio and instant messaging, and the ability to create group chats with up to 500 users. By leveraging BOTIM as the base of the ultra app, Astra Tech will be able to reach millions of users.
In November, Algerian super app Yassir raised USD 150 million in a round led by a number of international VCs.