Back in early May, we reported that Cobone.com had launched in Cairo, Egypt offering discounts of 50 to 90 percent on local goods and services. Now Cobone says it wants to become the leading group buying site in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.
Georgina Enzer, writer for ITP.net, a site about technology in the Middle East, says that Cobone, which officially launched in 2010, has already sold over 200,000 coupons in just these past nine months and has saved consumers over $10 million. The site is available in five countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan and Lebanon, and nine cities within those regions
“Our goal is to be in every major city in the Middle East and North Africa because right now we have a lot of cities we are not in, for example we are not in Doha, but we already have over 2,500 Facebook fans from there. Our goal is also to be the largest e-commerce site in the Middle East, right now we are number two behind our sister site souq.com and my goal is to build the largest e-commerce site in the Middle East. I think we will do that through offering not only spas and restaurants, but other product lines which you will see very soon,” said Paul Kenny, founder and CEO of Cobone.com.
Kenney also talks about the unique issues the site faces operating in areas of the world that are currently seeing political unrest and change.
“Egypt went through political change recently and what happened was that internet penetration grew phenomenally, more people were aware of Facebook and Twitter more than ever before and people were using it to communicate with each other. We launched in Egypt five or six weeks ago. Already, we have 100,000 Facebook fans and I don’t think that would have been possible without this unrest. During periods of unrest, people still have to eat; everything does not stop just because of an uprising. People still like to save money no matter what is happening outside,” said Kenny.