Dubai-based startup closes $3m deal

Compareit4me Group, which operates finance comparison websites across the Middle East, raised $3 million in venture capital funding that was led by STC Ventures, the venture capital arm of Saudi Telecom, with backing from Wamda Capital which is headed up by Aramex founder Fadi Ghandour and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority completing the investment group.

Available in seven countries, the websites help users find and compare financial products including personal loans, credit cards and bank accounts. The website was named the Best Finance Comparison Site in the UAE at the International Finance Magazine Awards and Best Comparison Site in the Middle East by Global Banking and Finance Review.

Compareit4me already generates more than 45,000 finance applications per month, more than any other site in the region, and it plans to use the funding to continue its rapid expansion with the brand launching in at least three more countries in 2015.

"With the latest round of VC funding, the website is well geared to expand more rapidly," CEO Jon Richards said. "We have managed to deliver exceptionally strong growth in a short space of time. With limited funding we have had to bootstrap our way to every milestone but the investment will finally allow us to invest more significantly in growing the brand and improving our technology; something that will be good for our users and also the banks we work with.''

The website raised an initial round of angel funding in March 2014 from Mulverhill Associates, run by former Abraaj Capital Director Jonathan Hall.

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