France's Amethis acquires minority stake in UAE language translation start-up Tarjama

Abu Dhabi company to build technological capabilities, create new customer-focused products and expand presence to global markets

Dubai, U.A.E., January 29, 2018. Portrait of Nour Al Hassan, founder of Ureed, the region'sfirst editorial marketplace. 
Victor Besa / The National
Business

Amethis, a Paris-based investment fund manager, acquired a minority stake in UAE-based language translation start-up Tarjama, to help the Abu Dhabi company advance its artificial intelligence road map.

The investment in Tarjama will also help in carrying out an ambitious organic and inorganic growth strategy across the region’s main markets. The transaction was the second using Amethis's newly-launched Mena Fund II. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"This investment by Amethis creates an exceptional opportunity for us to build up our technological capabilities and securely position Tarjama as the leader in language AI across the region," Nour Al Hassan, founder and chief executive of Tarjama, said.

"We are eager for this next phase of growth, where we’ll significantly develop our current product portfolio, create new customer-focused products and expand our presence to global markets."

Start-ups in the UAE and wider Middle East continue to attract funding from local and international investors amid the challenges stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.

AI companies, in particular, reported mega deals in the third quarter of 2021, raising a record $17.9 billion in funding across 841 deals globally, an 8 per cent increase in funding and a 43 per cent leap in the number of deals on a quarterly basis, CB Insights revealed in its latest report.

Two Jordanian start-ups raised investments in funding rounds in the past week, with EdTech platform Abwaab securing $20 million that will help it expand into new markets, and dental technology company Eon Dental raising $26m to support its manufacturing automation and clinical capabilities.

Tarjama – which means "translation" in Arabic – is one of the biggest language translation services in the Middle East and Africa, with its linguists aided by AI to train, test and transform content in over 55 languages. Its copywriters specialise in more than 200 industries.

Quote
This investment by Amethis creates an exceptional opportunity for us... we’re eager for this next phase of growth where we’ll significantly develop our current product portfolio, create new customer-focused products, and expand our presence to global markets
Nour Al Hassan, founder and chief executive of Tarjama

The company, which was initially based in Amman, also provides strategic advisory services, working with experts in all industries and disciplines to drive real business impact. It serves a wide roster of corporates across the region’s largest markets, present in critical sectors including government, e-commerce, legal, technology, life sciences, media, entertainment, finance and banking.

It has developed proprietary language technology products, including a best-in-class Arabic-focused machine translation engine, and Cleverso, its high-performing translation management system.

Tarjama raised $5m in an initial funding round led by Saudi Arabia’s Anova Investments in 2019, which it used to scale its operations and enhance its technology platforms.

Amethis is an investment fund manager focused on African and European markets, with an investment capacity exceeding €800m. It brings growth capital to promising mid-cap companies in a diversity of sectors.

Updated: November 17th 2021, 3:30 AM
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