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Egypt’s RiseUp acquires tech publication MenaBytes

Featured image: MENAbytes founder Zubair Naeem Paracha (Supplied)

RiseUp, a Cairo-based platform that connects startups to resources, has acquired Middle East and North Africa (MENA) focused tech publication MenaBytes.

RiseUp said in a statement yesterday that the acquisition also includes trackMena, MenaBytes’ new data platform which helps users track startups, venture capital (VC) investments as well as acquisitions

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The Riyadh-based publication was founded in 2017 by Zubair Naeem Paracha (pictured above). Paracha declined to disclose exactly how much MenaBytes was acquired for in the deal which was concluded earlier this month.

RiseUp’s acquisition of MenaBytes also includes its data platform trackMena

As part of the deal, Paracha will join RiseUp where he will continue to lead MenaBytes, trackMena and other digital efforts of the company.

The deal will see MenaBytes integrate with RiseUp’s digital content arm in a move which will strengthen the platform’s digital presence in the region.

RiseUp said in an earlier statement that the company will also utilise MenaBytes’s extensive network and resources to design a fully integrated platform dedicated to the RiseUp’s startup community.

RiseUp helps startups access funding, technical and business know-how, talent, as well as curated tools and services.

In addition, the platform is also the organiser of one of MENA’s largest startup and entrepreneurship events — RiseUp Summit.

‘No impact on editorial independence’

When asked whether the deal will affect the publication’s editorial independence and coverage of RiseUp startups, Paracha said RiseUp’s CEO understands that MenaBytes has been successful because of its ability to independently report on stories from all over the region without any restriction.

This, he pointed out, is why MenaBytes has been given full editorial autonomy.

“This is one of the highlights of deal. Yes, you’ll obviously see more coverage of RiseUp events on MenaBytes but apart from that, there won’t be any impact in terms of what’s published and what’s not,” he explained.

MenaBytes recently expanded its coverage to Pakistan and is now looking to expand to Turkey and other emerging markets.

RiseUp CEO Abdelhameed Sharara, commenting in an earlier statement, said the company is “immeasurably excited” about the opportunities MENAbytes will offer RiseUp.

“The acquisition, and working with Zubair, is the first big leap in our vision of being a one-stop shop for the entire spectrum of resources entrepreneurs and startups in the region need to grow,” added Sharara.

Featured image: MENAbytes founder Zubair Naeem Paracha (Supplied)

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