Malaysia-based Joota, has just raised a total of US$700,000 of funding from two investment sources – USD$500,000 from Interactive E Solutions JLT of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and an additional US$200,000 from an individual angel investor. The new funding brings the total investment of Joota to US$2.1 million in funding.
According to the press release, the funding will be used to finance product development of Joota’s social content network platform, as well as supporting its global marketing and promotional efforts.
The Joota web-based platform was released as public beta in June 2012. Joota takes a unique approach compared to existing platforms today by making social networks dynamic and connecting people through content. It helps users build meaningful social networks around content that matters to them.
”We are excited to receive this new round of funding. It allows us to support our technology team to continue to improve Joota as well as our increasing efforts in marketing and promoting our universal social content network platform to Internet users around the globe. We are thankful to Interactive E Solutions JLT and our private angel investor for granting us their trust and recognizing our strategy to grow.” – Ashran Ghazi, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Joota
Joota is very similar to social bookmarking site Pinterest, where users collect and share photos of their favorite events, interests and hobbies. Ashran shared that,
“Joota wants to help people build meaningful social networks around content. That is why we are making this a reality using our platform that connects people through content that they’re interested in. On Joota, we provide users with a tool to easily select content that are relevant to them and discover like-minded people on the same platform. This is important in building a meaningful relationship”
How does the company make money?
In terms of revenue model, Ashran shared with DigitalNewsAsia that while Joota can be used for free, the company is introducing Joota Premium services, which allows small and medium businesses (SMBs) to use Joota as a ‘Social Content Advertising’ tool. These SMBs can attach ads to content and conversations that they share with their customers and other users. This makes the engagement process with their customers more meaningful, without having to ‘hard sell’ their products or services — but at the same time having their brand presence. To date, the company has had about 100 clients which are trying out the Joota premium features.
Will the website work? Engagement will be key, and that’s something that the company is lacking now. Although the current user count is undisclosed, the company aims to reach 300,000 users from both Malaysia and the United States by end of the year.