Astra Tech buys Botim for better App experience and expansion
Astra Tech is one of the biggest additions to the ever-growing tech ecosystem of the MEA region. It has garnered USD 500 million backing from various strategic investors and partners, bringing the company one step closer to its vision of launching an ultra platform.
Astra Tech has bought the Gulf region’s most popular voice-calling app, Botim, taking it a step closer to creating a platform that will offer everything from instant messaging to digital payments. 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 (MENA).
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.
The UAE, where 85% of the population are foreigners, blocks calls from applications such as Microsoft Corp.’s Skype, Meta Platforms Inc’s WhatsApp and Apple Inc’s FaceTime. That has driven up user numbers for Botim, which is one of few apps UAE residents can use to make voice calls over the internet.
In addition to free video and voice calls, Botim offers money transfers within the UAE, phone recharges as well as bill payments locally and internationally, according to a statement. Following the acquisition, Astra Tech will allow users to pay bills and access government services through the app, and order food and groceries.
“Botim will be the first of its kind in the region to simplify interactions of hundreds of millions of users, allowing them to engage and transact seamlessly,” Astra Tech Founder Abdallah Abu Sheikh said.
Astra Tech’s Ultra Platform will be the first of its kind in the MEA region to simplify the way users & businesses interact, engage and transact with each other.
Led by the serial tech entrepreneur Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Astra Tech is all set to embark upon a bold approach to disrupt the consumer technology space and challenge the status quo.
Astra Tech joins firms including Uber Technologies Inc.’s Middle Eastern subsidiary Careem in building out so-called Super Apps. Careem’s app will allow access to services including food delivery, grocery shopping, shipping and bike rentals — all sectors that boomed during the pandemic.