Astra Tech has acquired Botim in a bid to create a Gulf region super app. The deal will transform Astra Tech — an investment firm based in Dubai — into one of the largest communications tech platforms in the Middle East and North Africa. The company did not give a value for Botim, a voice-calling platform, but said it has 90 million registered and 25 million monthly active users, according to the report. The acquisition will let users pay bills, access government services, and order food and groceries using the app.
This milestone addition to Astra’s portfolio is the most recent in a string of strategic acquisitions in 2022, including Rizek, home cleaning services, and Payby, a homegrown fintech company, which will seamlessly integrate into BOTIM to offer a range of services through a single integration. The acquisition of BOTIM is a landmark transaction for the MENA’s tech scene, as the app is the region’s largest and most popular communications platform.
Why it matters
Botim has thrived in the United Arab Emirates — where 85% of the population comes from overseas. Astra Tech and many other Gulf region companies had managed to avoid last year’s venture capital slowdown. The company in December announced $500 million in funding from G42, a holding company for artificial intelligence (AI) businesses. Super apps are popular in Asia, where China’s WeChat and Indonesian company Gojek are both poised to expand to new markets.