Iran Internet Group, the parent company behind Snapp and ZoodFood has received a new round of investment from Iran’s second mobile operator, Irancell. MTN, one of Irancell’s shareholders had also invested in this firm.
IIG or Iran Internet Group is the mother company behind Bamilo (an online shopping platform), Snapp (a ride hailing app), ZoodFood (an online food ordering platform), Pintapin (a hotel reservation website) and Eskano (an online real estate directory which is not active for the time being). Many of these startups have been able to have an impact in the lives of Iranians and influenced the culture with the help of technology. Since its launch, IIG has been supported by MTN Group, one of the major mobile operators in emerging markets and a major shareholder of Irancell. A few months ago IIG (not Snapp as TechCrunch reported) received a 22 million dollar funding from MTN, and now Irancell has directly invested an undisclosed amount in this internet group.
MTN and Irancell have invested hefty budgets in various tech fields in Iran and a few months ago there were some talks about MTN acquiring 49% of Iranian Net, Iran’s so-called fourth mobile operator. MTN had been helpless to repatriate its accumulated dividends until recently due to the sanctions.
According to Fars News, Alireza Ghalambar Dezfouli, CEO of Irancell, stated that the investments of the second mobile operator in Iran’s digital marketplace are in line with the expansion of employment opportunities, developing the online businesses and e-government fields in order to achieve the objectives of the resistance economy.
“Subsidiary companies of this group such as Snapp and ZoodFood have been able to establish themselves as a market leader in a short period of time. And aside from improving the service quality to users in areas such as ease of use and cost savings, they have been able to gain popularity among the people,” said Alireza Ghalambar Dezfouli, CEO of Irancell as Fars News reported.
Herman Singh, Digital Director of MTN has also stated that Irancell’s investment in IIG, as the Iranian business partner of MTN is a testament of the strength of this internet group’s business model and management team, as Fars reported.
Even though IIG is considered as the arm of Rocket Internet in the country among the tech community in Iran, there hasn’t been any proof or disproof about their official presence in Iran. But it’s been said that IIG’s subsidiaries are using some of Rocket Internet’s services such as HR.
In the recent months, Snapp one of IIG’s major companies faced tough obstacles as their popularity grew in the public. Snapp which has been able to acquire a large pool of drivers and users to its platform is now struggling to survive the pressure from many organizations such as the Taxi Union, IT Union of Iran, Tehran Municipality and the Traffic Police. Having a strategic partner such as Irancell with over 60% smartphone penetration in its network could help this Internet giant to further establish itself in Iran’s market.
Tell us what you think about the presence of Iran Internet Group and Irancell in the Iranian market in the comments below.