Why Unifonic earned the investment

Why Unifonic earned the investment

Unifonic is at the forefront of the digital transformation of communications in the Middle East. Its vision is to simplify how brands and customers engage with each other.

Since it was founded in 2006, Unifonic has consistently developed its product line and its markets to provide an affordable enterprise-grade multilingual, seamless omnichannel communications platform throughout the Middle East. It is a Saudi-based company that offers a world-class customer experience platform backed by the highest service standards in the region.

Values and vision

Unifonic holds true to its core values of commitment, integrity, passion, flexibility and customer focus, which has made it the engagement partner of choice for companies not only across the MENA region but beyond. It has a proven record of consistent growth in its geographic market, customer base, product lines and revenues.

This record and its vision for the future helped it secure the largest Series A funding round in the Middle East in 2018, with an investment of $21 million from STV, RTF, Endeavor Catalyst, ELM, and Raed Ventures.

That investment helped Unifonic expand to three times in size and prepare itself for the next stage of its journey from a regional leader to a global leader in communication solutions and engagement. It worked on its product line to put it at the cutting edge of the digital transformation in communications, transforming itself from a CPaaS (communication platform as a service) provider into a customer engagement platform.

Unifonic’s platform now handles handling more than 10 billion annual transactions for millions of recipients in over 160 countries.

In 2020 it assembled a management team of experienced international leaders to guide it through its next phase of expansion.

 

Proven growth record

Since its inception, Unifonic has sought creative, effective ways to digitise and automate communications. From its early days developing a web interface to automate multiple SMS messaging, it developed cloud-based services to automate and analyse multiple communications channels, integrating them with clients’ existing business systems.

Unifonic was founded (as Resalaty) in Saudi Arabia in 2006 while co-founders Ahmed and Hassan Hamdan were students. Resalaty’s early clients include the Saudi Telecoms Company (STC) and UAE-based telecoms provider Etisalat. It gained its first enterprise-level client in 2009, and by 2010 it had 1,000 clients on its roster.

It expanded with offices in Bahrain and the UAE in 2009 and Jordan in 2011. In 2012 it expanded further through into the MENA region with offices in Cairo, Amman and Khartoum

Resalaty’s first products focused on SMS marketing tools. In 2010 it moved its infrastructure to the cloud using AWS. This enabled the launch of a new scalable platform with global access in 2014.

Resalaty rebranded as Unifonic in 2015.

Unifonic introduced innovative voice and email-based solution based on next-generation technology in 2017, and moved closer to its goal of building a communications platform easy for people from a non-technical background to use effectively.

It became the first Arab company to offer WhatsApp business solutions in 2020. In 2021 it opened an office in Pakistan. It now employs more than 200 people across 33 countries, having expanded 60% a year over the last three years.

 

Forward-thinking

Unifonic is currently developing its uProduct line – a seamless, omnichannel approach to foster rich engagement between brands and their clients.

The uProduct line – including uConnect, uDigitize, uEngage and uReach - allows greater levels of integration and automation across channels, to offer clients agentless customer engagement solutions using machine learning and artificial intelligence.

This approach enables Unifonic’s clients to engage customers and stakeholders affordably with minimal human intervention, bridge communication gaps, and deliver remarkable omnichannel experiences with richer conversations at every interaction over messaging applications, SMS, voice, video, email, and push notifications.

 

A team built for growth

In 2020 Unifonic assembled a talented leadership team who blend creative innovation with experience in all aspects of business leadership, ready to lead the company into its next phase of expansion.

Co-founders Ahmed and Hassan Hamdan, Unifonic’s CEO and CTO respectively, have overseen Unifonic’s growth from a fledgling University-based startup to an acknowledged regional leader in its field.

President Jonathan Labin set up and developed Facebook’s operations in the Middle East as the firm’s regional managing director for MENA region and Pakistan. He was previously VP of Ad Sales for MTV.

Sales VP Elias Tabet is an experienced sales and business development leader in the tech sector, with more than 16 years’ experience in marketing, business development and management with Microsoft.

Karim Zaki, VP of Product, is a global expert in programmable cloud communications, with experience in the Middle East and Silicon Valley.

VP of Human Resources Colin Christie has more than 20 years’ experience in tech and aviation companies. He has led strategic transformations across several large businesses.

In addition to the management team, Unifonic’s board of directors offer a wealth of international expertise in all aspects of business. Dave McClure, founding partner of Silicon Valley VC and incubator firm 500 Startups; and Samer Khalidi, Head of Private Equity at AlKhabeer Capital.

 

Pushing boundaries

Unifonic pioneers new approaches to engagement in its own product line and in ideas within the sector. It seeks to drive the conversation forward and expand boundaries.

In 2020 Unifonic launched a series of thought leadership webinars inviting international experts to discuss different aspects of communication and engagement and explore future possibilities.

Co-founders Ahmed and Hassan Hamdan were chosen as High Impact Endeavor Entrepreneurs in 2013.

Ahmed is passionate about solving business problems by making cloud communications accessible and affordable to the public regardless of technical background and abilities.

Hassan is an Endeavour entrepreneur; he advises young entrepreneurs and startups and is often invited to speak about technology, cloud, enterprise software, and high-impact entrepreneurship.

 

Conclusion

Unifonic has earned the trust of its investors with a proven track record of growth, innovation and commitment to its vision for the future of client engagement. This latest investment of $130 million will help it develop that vision internationally.

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