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Launched in 2010, Jamalon provides unparalleled access to a comprehensive catalogue of books in English and Arabic. CEO and Founder of the e-commerce platform, Ala’ AlSallal, has captured a share of the US$5 billion MENA book market, which has faced technical barriers to quickly classify and digitize books.
The fragmented Arab publishing landscape has lagged behind others in digitizing collections because of the lack of digital metadata (ISBN) for Arabic-language literature. Jamalon offers a convenient bilingual platform to browse and purchase books. The company receives a discount from publishers that ranges from 50%-80%, which it partially passes on to customers. The website allows several payment options including cash-on-delivery, credit card, and PayPal.
Recently, Jamalon partnered with Amazon to enable the e-commerce giant to fulfill orders for Jamalon’s various Arabic titles to customers living outside the Middle East.
Jamalon’s library has grown to include over ten million titles, with metadata for 500,000 Arabic books, and has expanded to reach hundreds of thousands of customers in the MENA region. The company received the People’s Choice Award at the ArabNet Digital Summit-Startup Demo Competition in Beirut. Ala’ won first place in the UAE’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit business plan competition in 2013, precipitating his expansion into Dubai.
The company’s growth has been facilitated by strong relationships with publishers and dependable regional logistics. It has the capability to deliver Arabic-language books that are warehoused within three days, while English-language books are drop-shipped by publishers within seven. With warehouses in Amman, Beirut, Dubai and London, and an organized processing system, Ala’ plans to establish a distribution hub in every Middle Eastern country where Jamalon has a footprint.
Jamalon raised Series A in 2015 of $3.7M with Wamda Capital leading the round and Aramex Ventures joining the round as well.
Jamalon has announced recently their print-on-demand facility in Dubai, which targets to shift the whole publishing scene in MENA to a new era.
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