Dubai-based Mara Social Media has acquired mobile calling and messaging app Nimbuzz.
The acquisition of Nimbuzz will create a stronger foundation for future growth in emerging markets, Mara Social Media said in a statement.
It, however, did not disclose the deal size.
The acquisition will give Mara access to Nimbuzz’s international assets, intellectual property, and database.
Mara Social Media is a multi-channel platform of online and mobile tech innovations targeting the booming African market. It is a subsidiary of Mara Group which is headed by Indian-origin entrepreneur Ashish J Thakkar.
Mara Social Media expects messaging apps to overtake social media apps globally within the next two years, the firm said.
There is a gap in the offering of the existing messenger players in most markets, and it opens up a tremendous opportunity for Mara to tap in to, Mara Social Media Chairwoman Ahuti Chug said.
Mara said that it would roll-out a new hybrid approach for the Nimbuzz messenger, which would be an amalgamation of content, incubator platform, smart market place and consumer communities.
It will also integrate the Nimbuzz platform with its existing Mara platforms and vice versa.
These platforms include Mara Mentor, which provides free online mentoring, and Mara Jobs, an app that services both blue and white collar workers.
Nimbuzz, launched in May 2008, can be installed on computers, mobile phones, smartphones and tablets, across Android, iPhone, and Symbian, MIDP, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and PC and Mac computers.
Nimbuzz claims to have 200 million users across the Middle East and Inda.
Recently, a survey by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority found Facebook and messaging app WhatsApp to be the most popular social media platforms among users in the UAE.
As per the survey, 97% of respondents in UAE use WhatsApp while 89% use Facebook. Video sharing site YouTube finished third behind WhatsApp and Facebook with 73%.