Ifrosh tests cardless e-commerce platform in Iraqi Kurdistan

Eric Reidy -Wamda – 28 April 2014

In recent years, the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan has generatedheadlines for its relative stability and booming oil-based economy. But so far, the economic boom has not been accompanied by the cultivation of a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem. Amed Latif Omar and Banu Ibrahim Ali, the two Iraqi-Kurdish co-founders of ifrosh, are looking to change that.

ifrosh is one of the first startups in Iraqi Kurdistan and, like many entrepreneurial ventures, it was inspired by a need in the community.

Omar and Ali are from Sulamaini, one of the economic centers of Iraq’s Kurdish region. Shopping in the city is largely done in traditional markets that fulfill most, but not all, consumer needs. “I needed to buy and sell things I couldn’t find in the bazaar,” says Omar, ifrosh’s CEO.

To help fill this gap, Omar and Ali came up with the idea for an online, community-based marketplace to connect merchants and consumers. The name, ifrosh, comes from the Kurdish word ‘to sell’, and is currently running a test period on the American University of Iraq, Sulamaini (AUIS) campus before launching in beta at the end of the summer…

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Palestinian software companies merge; set sights on changing U.S. healthcare market

Eric Reidy – Wamda – 1 April 2014

iConnect-Tech and 2i Software, two software development companies with front offices in Chicago and programming teams based in Palestine, have been working out of the same building in Ramallah for three years. Now, iConnect has acquired 2i’s Palestinian operation and is looking to provide business intelligence services for the U.S. healthcare market.

The origins of the deal between iConnect and 2i, inked at the end of February, stretch back to 2010. At that point, Kais Salhut, a native of Jerusalem who moved to the U.S. at 17 to attend school, was starting a Palestinian development team for 2i, which also has operations in Malta and India.

Salhut knew iConnect’s management in Chicago and was aware that the two companies had similar administrative structures with different specialties. It was only natural that a relationship would develop between the two operations. “We knew something was going to happen,” Salhut explains. “We just didn’t know what it would be…

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