x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Online portal for price shopping

The Middle East's first price comparison website has launched a UAE portal after receiving funding from a backer behind Souq.com and Cobone.com.

One of the first Middle East price comparison websites has launched a UAE portal after receiving funding from an investment company behind Souq.com and Cobone.com.

Bkam.com, which means "how much does it cost?" in Arabic, offers shoppers the chance to search all online stores in the markets it operates in for the best prices.

The Egyptian-based website has clocked up more than 50,000 mobile application downloads since its launch last October and receives 6,000 daily hits in its home market.

It launched in the UAE this week and plans to add Saudi Arabia later in the year.

The website uses a tool to extract data from online stores and compares the prices of every category except food and beverage.

"We are working on expanding it to [food and beverage] depending on the mobile app, so users using the mobile app can scan bar codes from on-the-shelf products at big names like Carrefour and still compare grocery products from supermarkets and hypermarkets," said Mahmoud Abdel Fattah, the founder of Bkam.com.

It has also added a tool to help "bricks" make money from clicks.

"We provide [stores which are not already online] with a very simple tool so they can upload a simple Excel file with their products and prices and once they upload this Excel file the products will be also available online to the online shoppers," added Mr Fattah.

Its entry into the Emirates this week was made possible by an investment round by the Jabbar Internet Group, founded by the entrepreneurs who set up Maktoob.com, which was sold to Yahoo in 2009.

The company backed Cobone.com, which it has now exited, and today counts Souq.com, Ikoo.com, Tahadi.com, Nibras.com and Araby.com among its portfolio.

"We approached Bkam.com because we saw in their vision the promise of something very successful in the region," said Samih Toukan, the ch