Emirates success story seeks expansion around the world

Q&A: The Entertainer plans to sell discount vouchers in at least six new markets following a multimillion dollar investment from Abraaj Capital.

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The Entertainer plans an international expansion after a "multimillion-dollar" investment deal with Abraaj Capital.

The Dubai company, which sells books of discount coupons for goods and services, says it will launch in six new markets by the end of next year.

Donna Benton, the chief executive of The Entertainer, says the sale of a half stake in the business to a fund managed by Abraaj will expedite the expansion. The Entertainer publishes 13 books covering seven different countries. Potential new markets include Singapore, Lebanon, Hong Kong and Malaysia, she says. Ms Benton, who founded The Entertainer in 2000, explains how the company plans to expand.

q&a

q What will the Abraaj deal allow The Entertainer to do?

a By the end of this year, we'll have 17 books in nine countries. And by the end of 2013, we'll be in 13 countries with 22 books. So it just allows us to escalate a lot quicker - what we could do in four years, we can do in two years.

q Where is the brand expanding?

a We're launching Singapore and Lebanon this year. Asia is a big region for us. We just set up our second office in Singapore, which will launch into Hong Kong, Macau and Malaysia. We're looking to expand into South Africa and … Europe.

q The Entertainer has 50 employees. How will that change?

a We're on a recruitment drive. By the end of the year we'll probably employ another 10 people.

q Does The Entertainer have any plans for a 'group buying' service such as Groupon or LivingSocial?

a No. We're a totally different model than them. You can't plan with those deals … it's more impulse buying. [But group-buying websites have] made more people aware of vouchers. It's actually been quite good for us.

* Ben Flanagan