Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 August 2020

UAE start-up Play:Date raises $250,000 in funding amid expansion push

Founded in 2017, the company has operations in the UAE and the US

Shamim Kassibawi, founder and chief executive of Play:Date, said the new funding will support the company to expand in the Middle East. Courtesy Play:Date
Shamim Kassibawi, founder and chief executive of Play:Date, said the new funding will support the company to expand in the Middle East. Courtesy Play:Date

Play:Date, a Dubai-based interactive platform that helps parents build their children’s social circle, plans to expand its services globally after raising $250,000 (Dh917,500) in its latest funding round.

The round was led by a New York-based venture capital firm Modus Capital that specialises in assisting entrepreneurs in building transformational businesses.

“The opportunity to work with Modus Capital poses exciting expansion opportunities for Play:Date,” said Shamim Kassibawi, founder and chief executive of the start-up that was founded in March 2017.

“We decided to work with them as they are not your typical venture capitalists that are solely focused on investing … instead they actively assist entrepreneurs by supporting with strategies and high-growth prospects.”

With more than 3,500 members, the start-up allows users to choose where and when their children can play, what their interests are and also find a like-minded friend they can go on a play date with.

It helps parents "to engage with each other based on the interests and personalities of their children", the company said. The app is currently available in on both iOS and Android operating systems in the UAE and US.

The latest round of funding will support the company to expand its presence in the Middle East and enter new markets, the company said.

Modus Capital will also provide Play:Date technical help, management, investor relations and overall leadership support to become globally competitive.

“We are ecstatic to add Play:Date to our portfolio and support them in their next stage of growth and international expansion,” said Kareem Elsirafy, managing partner at Modus Capital that has its offices in New York, Los Angeles and Cairo.

“They are tackling a major connectivity and discovery pain-point for parents that has demand in both Mena and [the] US markets … and they are doing [it] in the most innovative ways,” Mr Elsirafy said.

Play:Date platform promises to build a child’s social circle, while also offering discounts and deals through partner companies, such as Kids HQ and SugarMoo.

Updated: July 1, 2020 08:59 PM

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