Business Extra: Tech Edition - Will Vero change social networking?


The National

Does the world need another social network?

Ayman Hariri, co-founder of Vero and son of former Lebanese prime minister Rafic Hariri, thinks so.

Host Cody Combs talked to the co-founder of the ad-free, algorithm-free alternative to Facebook, TikTok and Twitter at Abu Dhabi Finance Week.

They discussed the big plans for the platform this year and the tech start-up culture in the Mena region.

MATCH INFO

Who: France v Italy
When: Friday, 11pm (UAE)
TV: BeIN Sports

Dolittle

Director: Stephen Gaghan

Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Michael Sheen

One-and-a-half out of five stars

Usain Bolt's time for the 100m at major championships

2008 Beijing Olympics 9.69 seconds

2009 Berlin World Championships 9.58

2011 Daegu World Championships Disqualified

2012 London Olympics 9.63

2013 Moscow World Championships 9.77

2015 Beijing World Championships 9.79

2016 Rio Olympics 9.81

2017 London World Championships 9.95

Match info

Manchester United 4
(Pogba 5', 33', Rashford 45', Lukaku 72')

Bournemouth 1
(Ake 45+2')

Red card: Eric Bailly (Manchester United)

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Updated: January 26, 2024, 5:45 PM