Amman-based media startup Wajeez has become the first Jordanian company ever to secure funds from STV, one of the region’s most influential venture capital firms. Led by STV and participated by several other investors such as Shorooq Partners, Mawdoo3, and Saudi’s Wise Venture, the round has added another $3 million to the startup’s valuation.
Wajeez is an app-based platform that allows Arabic-speaking users easy access to global and regional non-fiction books. Basically, the app presents condensed versions of these popular titles in Arabic that users can both read and listen to.
To date, the startup’s rapidly growing library has short, 15 minute versions of more than 3,500 audio and text-based books. For unrestricted access to all titles, users need to pay an annual subscription fee of $47.99 or a monthly subscription fee of $4.99.
Wajeez’s in-house editors also select one book summary everyday that users of the free plan can access. The startup claims to have scored more than 1.2 million app downloads already with an active user base of more than 800,000.
Speaking to the media, Wajeez co-founder and CEO Mohammad Zatara, recently noted, “Despite there being over 400 million Arabic speakers globally, there is relatively little Arabic content available. People in the region often have a preference for shortened summaries of books and content, rather than full books. Through Wajeez, we offer anyone the opportunity to distill the main points from the most popular and award-winning non-fiction books, in Arabic, saving people the time while still extracting the key points.”
The company now plans on using the success of the latest funding round to aggressively expand its library of books while exploring the options to add more languages such as Turkish and Urdu.