ArabiaWeather Talks About How it Got its 2M$ Investment

Romeo Chalfoun, Jan 16 2015

After ArabiaWeather raised a $2M+ round led by Silicon Badia's Impact Fund, we thought it would be a good idea to ask them a few questions - to hopefully give other startups and entrepreneurs some guidelines and insights when aiming for an investment of this size. The tips below are extracted from ArabNet's interview with ArabiaWeather's founder and CEO Mohammed Al-Shaker.

Aim for ambitious goals and work to make them happen

"We want to be number 1 in the region in providing weather data through all devices, for the biggest audience possible, with the most accurate data and analysis of weather. We want more people to substitute global companies with our company’s services, to establish the largest weather station network in the region. We are looking to acquire more users, expanding our operations."

Know when to use your own resources

"We are using advanced technology we developed in-house for tracking the weather, we depend on using propriety algorithms and high resolution super computers. Numerical models innovation isn’t just through the data collection, but  also through the presentation of the end-product. So we use our own curated data, and we are providing it in the region, part of the investment goes to improving the accuracy of our data. This technology is unique in the region’s climate and environment."

Good investments need time and patience

"We’ve raised capital before, but not of that size. It took us time to build a company and develop products relevant for the market. We keep our eyes close to the market; we build and maintain good relationships with the investors we work with."

Follow up religiously; don’t look for a yes/no answer immediately

"Investments take time and trust to happen, by sharing your growth over time, how your team works, what your key offering is, how you deal with the customers, through which channels, etc... This is something that needs daily follow up and commitment."

Be active in the community, and use your connections

"We approached investors through our connections, through contacts of our angel investors, and through events like Endeavor or ArabNet."

Ask Angel Investors for advice

"Approaching angel investors for advice might eventually get you an investment, whether if it's about how to run your own business, or about getting a venture capital."

Foster and build your team’s strengths

"After I have seen and met various angel investors and VCs, I have come to realize that investors are mostly interested in the co-founders and the team itself."

Know where you stand

"We are a known brand in the region with a niche market opportunity. We are in the top 5 in several countries in the MENA, and we have high traction and growth. 2014 saw 12 milllion unique users from the region. Investors were very interested in seeing how much revenue we’re making and are able to make with extra funding. For example selling our weather product to 5 TV stations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE made our investors really pleased."

Know your investors’ fears, and address them

"Many investors in the Arab world began the discussion by asking how much the weather market is in the Middle East, so we showed them numbers, metrics, and facts , their biggest fear was not knowing how big the MENA market is."

Take a decision and make the best of it

"Opinions and advice aside, in the end you will have to make your own decision, and you will face its consequences or its rewards. 5 years ago we were based in Jordan, we wanted to sell Arabia Weather to one of the main investors in the US, but we refused, this was when we were introduced to one of our angel investors, and started doing round after round."


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