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Ramallah’s Ibtikar Fund Has Just Pumped Money In Travel-Tech Startup Safra

We speak with Safra’s CEO about the investment and what they’re planning to do with it.

Ibtikar Fund announced on January 23rd its newest investment in Safra, a comprehensive and fully integrated travel platform designed to meet the demanding requirements of professional travel agents across the region. 

With the undisclosed investment, the travel B2B platform aims to expand their reach across the Arab world. Safra’s technology is seamlessly linked to multiple travel service providers so that travel agents can, from one platform, receive the best offers and book full travel packages for their clients, including flights, accommodations, activities, and airport transfers.

“Safra is a travel-tech company that uses tech to make the life of its [users] easier,” Safra’s CEO Thaer Samara tells Startup Scene. “Simply we renovate and simplify the booking process for the travel agencies,” he adds; explaining that before Safra, travel agencies used to browse multiple platforms and use other communication channels to organise a single trip which consumes a lot of time and affect the Travel Agencies’ efficiency and increase the margin of the human error. “Through Safra, they can easily use on screen to customise, create and book a full package to their clients.”

The MENA travel industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Travelers from the GCC alone spent more than $90 billion in outbound travel in 2017, the vast majority of which was booked through travel agents. “Yet, this industry remains small and fragmented, and prone for disruption,” says Habib Hazzan, Managing General Partner of Ibtikar Fund. “We believe Safra has the ability to bring some efficiency to our Arab travel industry and create win-win situations for travel agents and end consumers.”

“It’s truly shocking that travel agents are still working on antiquated platforms that require them to basically code to book a flight,” says Samara. “We set out to build a platform that not only offers them better prices, but that makes the process seamless through great user experience and design.”


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