Vodafone xone Egypt has signed a partnership agreement with Dubai-based Seed Group, giving Egypt’s technology start-ups access to the United Arab Emirates’ market, the company said on Wednesday.
The new partnership is intended to open the door for the six main start-ups currently incubated by Vodafone xone, Vodafone’s venture capital, incubation, and entrepreneurship support unit, Vodafone said in a statement.
"We plan to help Egyptian technology start-ups to export their services to Arab countries. This deal in the UAE is the first step towards achieving that," Mohammed Al-Ayouti, head of Vodafone xone told Ahram Online in a telephone interview.
The signing of the agreement between Vodafone Egypt and Seed Group was witnessed by Atef Helmy, Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology.
Helmy praised this promising new partnership, which Vodaphone maintains will strengthen cooperation between Egypt and the UAE and unlock new development opportunities in the telecoms sector.
The partnership with the UAE occurs amid increasing interest in inter-Arab trading, and is also an opportunity for technology start-ups to establish ground in such a lucrative market, added Al-Ayouti.
Vodafone xone Egypt incubates start-ups to help them transform an initial idea into a crucial product, build a business structure, and ultimately achieve profitability in return for a stake in their businesses.
Telecom Egypt – 80 percent owned by the Egyptian government – owns 45 percent of Vodafone Egypt.
Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Vodafone Plc (VOD) ‘expressed interest’ in buying the shares it doesn’t already own in Vodafone Egypt’s joint venture with the Egyptian government, as Telecom Egypt’s shares surged.
A Telecom Egypt sale of its 45 percent stake could end a conflict of interest that arose after Telecom Egypt applied for an integrated licence.
An official - who spoke on condition of anonymity - told Ahram Online no official talks are underway for such an acquisition.
This story has been corrected