On June 30, 2020, freelance translator platform Ureed announced that it had closed a seven-figure-USD seed round from MENA-focused VC fund Wamda Capital and previous investor, Riyadh-based Anova. The same announcement said that Ureed had also acquired rival freelancer marketplace Nabbesh. Exact figures were not disclosed.
Based in Dubai, Ureed began as the freelance translator platform of Abu Dhabi-based language service provider (LSP) Tarjama, which raised USD 5m from Anova in March 2019.
Ureed Founder Nour Al Hassan told Slator that she had been working on ensuring Ureed’s complete independence from Tarjama over the past 12 months, and “aspiring to see the startup grow and enter new markets while Tarjama remains focused as a group on growing its lines of business independently.”
She added, “For so long, Ureed.com was referred to as the tech arm of Tarjama, but I feel as freelancing grows and sees new horizons in the region, and as the demand for cross-border collaboration increases with digital communication and technology taking over our lives, it is time for Ureed.com to grow on its own and set its foot in a market of its own.”
When pressed on whether Ureed’s latest seven-figure-USD investment was in the lower or higher single-digit millions, Al Hassan declined to comment. She will remain chairperson of the Ureed board, Al Hassan said, and will now focus on growing Tarjama’s core business of translation and localization.
She confirmed that Ureed’s executive team comprises the following:
- CEO Marwan Abdelaziz, who served as Tarjama’s Marketing, Communications, and CX Director until December 2019;
- COO Rakan Al Hassan, who joined Tarjama back in 2015 as Project Manager and served as Operations Director and Talent Director at Ureed prior to being appointed COO in November 2019; and
- CTO Iyad Ahmad, who is also Co-founder of Ureed.
According to Al Hassan, the executive team will focus on growing Ureed beyond translation and localization. She said the acquisition of Nabbesh, “one of the biggest marketplaces in the region” was a step in growing Ureed’s coverage by integrating “over 150 industries and specialities.”
However, Al Hassan said, “translation remains one of the primary categories on Ureed.com.” At the time of writing, Ureed.com says it has more than 16,500 translators, 15,000+ writers, and 3220+ Copywriters on its platform, who communicate in over 100 languages.
“At the moment, the team is working on expanding the categories to integrate more industries such as but not limited to: graphic design, web design, frontend development, business administration, sales and marketing, and more,” Al Hassan said.
The Ureed Founder said, “Nabbesh’s assets, including both freelancers and contracts, will be automatically integrated into Ureed.com’s brand and will operate under its name. All Nabbesh liabilities will be kept as is. All Nabbesh freelancers will be pre-vetted before they can join Ureed.com and start working with active employers on the marketplace.”