Amsterdam-based company International Internet Investment Coöperatief (IIIC) plans to invest 38 million euros in Iranian technology company Hezar Dastan Holdings, owner of Café Bazaar (main local market for Android applications) and Divar (service of online classifieds).
“Thanks to this investment, the Dutch company will acquire a 10% stake in the holding,” said co-founder and chairman of the board of directors of Bazaar, Hessam Armandehi, quoted by ILNA.
“Our management structure will remain intact after the investment,” Armandehi said. “The money will be used to develop new services, including a cloud service.”
The company is believed to be charting new territory, including offering fintech and e-wallet services and also launching navigation software that works on smartphones and tablets with GPS support and provides information. detailed navigation.
Raising the bar for his business, Armandehi said, “We are planning to turn Café Bazaar into a unicorn startup. “
Unicorn is a startup valued at over $ 1 billion. The term was coined in 2013 by venture capital firm Aileen Lee, choosing the mythical animal to represent the statistical paucity of such successful ventures.
Founded in 2010, Café Bazaar is Iran’s largest Android app marketplace. It is estimated that 36 million people have installed the Bazaar app on their phones. Daily, 4.7 million apps are downloaded from the service and each month the company sells 7.9 million apps. Almost 130,000 software and 30,000 games are available on Bazaar.
Divar is Iran’s premier online classifieds service. Operating through a website under the address divar.ir as well as Android and iOS apps, you can find anything on the services, from used hairdryers to apartments. Divar has 25 million active users in Iran and 60 million ads have been posted on the service since its launch in 2013.
In June 2016, the e-commerce company started offering services in Afghanistan. According to a survey conducted by the company, 64% of residents in the neighboring country have heard of its services. So far, 4,000 announcements have been posted on Divar’s Afghanistan service, which operates under divar.af.
This is not the first time that the Dutch organization has invested in Iranian online businesses. In December 2017, IIIC invested $ 100 million in leading Iranian online retailer Digikala and owns a 21% stake in the company. Digikala would be worth $ 500 million. In 2014, the company was valued at around $ 150 million. Some 2,600 people work for the company and its website attracts 2 million visitors every day.